Twitter explained why they hurt users Tweetbot

Not so long ago we were told the bad news about alternative clients Twitter. The company decided to disable the API that gave access to third-party clients for many functions of a social network. Users of Tweetbot and other third-party customers upset. Even more upset by their developers. Why it was necessary to upset so many people? Try to find out.

On the pages of TechCrunch published an internal e-mail provided for employees Twitter. It explains the act which the company had to go. You have the opportunity to read the text of this letter.

Hi team,

Today we publish a blog post about our priorities in developing a positive user experience Twitter. I wanted to share with you information about how we reached those decisions, and our attitude to third-party customers.

For starters, a little history:

Third-party clients have had a significant influence on Twitter and our products. Independent developers have created the first Twitter client for Mac, and the first native app for the iPhone. These customers have shown features that we know and love on Twitter, for example, a muting function, a gesture for feed updates and more.

We like that the developers create a new experience using our API promote our service, technology and communication. We really appreciate the time, energy and passion they put in creating cool things with Twitter.

But we haven’t always been straightforward with the developers about the decisions we make about third-party clients. In 2011, we told the developers (in the email) not to create apps that mimic the core experience of Twitter. In 2012, we announced amendments to our policy of relationships with third-party developers aimed to make the restrictions more intuitive, limiting the number of users allowed for third-party client. Years later after these announcements we have told the developers that our API does not prioritize the use of clients – even if we continue to support some specific API used by clients, and provide exceptions for customers who needed them.

The time has come to make a firm decision on the termination of support for these deprecated APIs and acknowledge that as a result, some of these applications will be degraded. Today we are faced with technical and business constraints that cannot be ignored. API User Streams and Site Streams, which are responsible for the important functions of many of our clients are in a state of “beta” for over 9 years and has been created on the technology stack that we no longer support. We don’t change our rules and do not intend to kill third-party clients, but we kill some of the deprecated APIs that have some importance for these clients, because of production necessity. Today we are not able to invest in creating new services to replace these APIs, which are used in less than 1% of the Twitter developers.

We heard feedback from our customers about what difficulties it causes. We often check the #BreakingMyTwitter and held discussions with many developers of major third-party clients to understand their problems and needs. We want to know why people prefer third-party clients and our own apps. We will do our best to honestly and clearly explain the changes to the developers. We have a lot of work. These changes – hard, but important step to accomplish it. Thank you for working with us on this.

Thank you.


Rob Johnson later published a post at the Twitter blog, which he mentioned in his letter. In it he endeavoured to explain the necessity to close the API and tell about the advantages of official Twitter clients. For some reason, they are used not all. Know about the causes? Tell us in our Telegram chat.

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