The End May Be Nigh for Third-Party Twitter Clients

Last night around 11pm ET, Tweetbot and Twitterrific stopped working, with authentication errors. They’re still down, as are other popular clients. Twitter has said nothing, either publicly or in communications to the affected developers, so your guess is as good as mine whether this is an unintended outage from Twitter’s skeleton crew staff or a strategic decision to pull the plug on third-party clients. Last night I’d have bet — a small amount — that it was an unintentional outage. Today I’d bet the other way, that this is the end. If so, this is probably the end of my regular usage of Twitter. Twitter’s official client has been terrible ever since it was anything other than a rebranded version of Tweetie. The first-party experience has gotten worse in recent weeks during the Musk era — both in their iOS app and on their convoluted website.

(Twitterrific for Mac is still functioning, though — at least as I write this. Unlike Tweetbot, Twitterrific uses different app IDs for iOS and Mac, and whatever is going on, it seems to have affected only the most popular third-party apps.)

Update: The Iconfactory has a blog post up. No news yet, but it’s worth checking out just for the chef’s kiss custom illustration. A picture says a thousand words and this one sums up the whole situation, no matter how it turns out.

Also: What a load of bullshit it is that Twitter no longer has a comms team. Apparently that’s how Musk runs all his companies, but it’s just childish.

Friday, 13 January 2023