Twitter's sudden ban on third-party apps is baffling as it is stupid


Twitter's sudden ban on third-party apps
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It wasn't by chance if you discovered that programs like Tweetbot and Twitteriffic had ceased functioning. Earlier this month, third-party apps for Twitter abruptly stopped working, making the years of work and dedication of many developers useless and shattering their commitment to the brand.

This adds another chapter to Elon Musk's ownership of the social media site since late 2022, in which a number of his actions have either been roundly criticized or reversed, depending on how he was feeling at the time.

This choice, however, might be one of its worst ones because it quickly destroyed any positive feelings that developers may have had for the platform. All that the company has done to acknowledge this is issue one tweet that is so obnoxiously enigmatic that you can't help but think it was plucked straight out of a soap opera.

A web link to a support page describing the regulations and the reasoning for it coming to this conclusion would typically be present for openness, however there isn't any. It's a slap in the face to the developers who toiled away on their own Twitter apps to give users flexibility in how they wanted to read their feed and compose their tweets, but now they're forced to use an official app that has grown more unstable since Musk's purge of the platform's workforce, rendering teams like its press team non-existent.

Once more, we're left to scratch our heads and wonder if we'll see another tweet soon to either reverse the choice or explain in more cryptic tweets like a Facebook status from 2008 that gives off strong "I'll inbox u hun" vibes.

It's quite regrettable to witness one of Twitter's most valuable assets, both in terms of goodwill and outside-the-company creativity, go up in flames all at once. In any case, that is not the proper course of action. You simply don't, whether you're in a meeting at work or on the playground.

But it also encourages alternatives like Mastodon and even Instagram. Icon Factory, the company behind Tweetbot, is currently focusing on Ivory, a Mastodon client (opens in new tab). The platform already has a wonderful appearance, and maybe over time more people will find it appealing.

The only thing to take away from all of this is this, but it shouldn't have ended this way.


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