When Twitter was a shiny new social network it had a great relationship with developers. 3rd-party Twitter apps were some of the most popular apps when Android was a new platform. Names like Swift and Twidroyd were at the top of the charts. As the social network has grown and become more mainstream, they have made life difficult for developers. A new change could drastically change 3rd-party apps as we know them.
We’ve already seen Twitter put limits on what developers can do. Token limits have taken down some phenomenal apps simply because they were too popular. Flamingo by Sam Ruston is the latest app to suffer this fate. A new change could have an even bigger impact and a group of developers for popular apps are trying to spread the word about it.
The developers behind Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Talon, and Tweetings have put up a website called “Apps of a Feather.” The site warns users about how Twitter will be removing “streaming services.” 3rd-party apps will not get push notifications and timelines won’t refresh automatically. A new Account Activity API is in beta testing, but Twitter has not given access to 3rd-party developers. Even with access, apps would be limited to the standard 35 Twitter accounts. Not enough for even a mildly popular app.
Twitter continues to spit in the face of hard-working developers who have helped grow the platform over the years. Many of us Android users would not be on the social network if it wasn’t for much better alternatives to the official app. Unfortunately, the sad truth is the majority of users don’t rely on 3rd-party apps. Twitter can make these changes without affecting many users.
3rd-party app users may not be the majority, but they tend to be people who are very active on the platform. It would be wise of Twitter to not annoy these users. If you’d like to help, the devs are asking that people tweet their concerns to @TwitterDev and use the hashtag #BreakingMyTwitter.
Update: Twitter delays the deadline
Apparently, the Apps of a Feather campaign has been heard. Twitter announced that they will delay the June 19th depreciation date. This does not mean they won’t still move forward with the changes.
Last year we announced our plan to retire Site Streams & User Streams, and replace them with the Account Activity API (currently in beta). We are delaying the scheduled June 19th deprecation date.
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) April 6, 2018
Source: Apps of a Feather
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