There are reports that twitter has withdrawn the access granted to third-party apps on its platform. Popular third-party app Tweetbot among others had their access to the app revoked and were shut out from accessing the platform. On 12 January, 2023, lots of Twitter clients including Tweetbot had their access to the Twitter API blocked. According to an internal document which was obtained by The Information, this suspension was an intentional act from twitter.
According to the report, Twitter may have acted thus due to the inability of these third-party apps to generate sufficient ad revenue. The consequence of this decision was that so many Twitter users who relied on third party apps could not access Twitter through these external apps but would have to log in to the Twitter app to access the platform.
The suspension from Twitter was noticed around Thursday evening and this has continued based on the observations from messages verified from insiders on the Twitter platform.
According to a New York Times report, Elon Musk had earlier predicted that advertising would generate around $12 billion in revenue by 2028. This projection perhaps explains the reason for the speculation that the suspension of third-party apps was predicated on their inability to generate adequate ad revenue.
A quote from a senior software engineer on an internal Twitter Slack channel revealed that “third party app locks are by design.”
An employee had asked when Twitter would release a list of the “approved talking points for its third-party customers’ partners who were suspended.” Based on such reviews of these internal messages, it appears Twitter officials had hitherto been discussing what time third-party apps suspension would be announced to the general public.
According to a product marketing executive who responded to the slack message asking about ‘approved talking points”, although Twitter is currently preparing to communicate this, there are no indications that the platform has decided when the information would be released.
A cursory opening of the tweetbot app features the display of a service disruption message which reveals that Tweetbot’s access to Twitter has been down since 7:30 PM PT. on Thursday. The accompanying message from Tweetbot says;
“We’ve reached out to Twitter for more details but haven’t heard anything yet.”
A lot of users would be hoping this suspension is a temporary one. A Mastodon post from the co-founder of Tweetbot Paul Haddad echoed the frustration from the lack of courtesy from Twitter to communicate to Tweetbot about the incident. In Haddad’s words;
“If you want to kill people, own up to it. Don’t just do it and pretend nothing happened.”
Lots of the actors affected by Twitter’s decision would be waiting impatiently for a response or reaction to all the requests for a comment on this incidence.
Are you a Tweetbot user? What is your own reaction to this incidence?