Your favorite Twitter clients are about to get less useful

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2018
Twitter is scheduled to modify its API on Thursday, deprecating features in a move that significantly degrades the performance and utility of third-party clients like popular iOS and macOS app Tweetbot.




In an update to Tweetbot 4 for iOS released today, developer Tapbots revealed a handful of changes that effectively cripple its flagship app.

"On August 16th Twitter will disable parts of their public interface that we use in Tweetbot. Because Twitter has chosen not to provide alternatives to these interfaces we have been forced to disable or degrade certain features. We're sorry about this, but unfortunately this is totally out of our control," Tapbots' release notes said.

Most notably, timeline streaming over Wi-Fi, which allowed users to view a continuous stream of new tweets without refreshing, has been disabled. With the changes in place, user timelines automatically refresh "every 1-2 minutes."

Push notifications also take a hit from Twitter's new policies, with alerts for mentions and direct messages now delayed by "a few minutes." Notifications for likes, retweets, follows and quotes have been disabled altogether, though Tapbots is investigating alternative push solutions that could arrive in a future release.

The Activity and Stats tabs that delivered user-centric data including likes, retweets and follows, as well as per-tweet statistics, have been removed from the app.

Finally, the watchOS companion app, which relied heavily on data parsed from Tweetbot's Activity feed, has been deprecated.

Tweetbot is not the only app to be affected by Twitter's API modification. All third-party clients, including Tweetbot alternatives like Iconfactory's Twitterrific, use Twitter's API and are therefore subject to the same feature eliminations.

Twitter first announced the limitations last December in a blog post elaborating on a new developer access system called the Account Activity API. The microblogging service in May said it would delay integration of the API changes until Aug. 16 in order to give developers time to migrate to the new tools, if they so chose.

For third-party developers like Tapbots, however, access to the Account Activity API is cost prohibitive.

The net result for those loath to use Twitter's official client -- a good number considering the popularity of Tweetbot, Twitterrific, et al. -- is a diminished user experience. That Twitter killed off its Mac app only adds salt to the wound.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,642member
    I really do wonder why I haven't left the platform -- it's obviously Apple-hostile, but there's also that "some people get to break the rules and yet stick around with no penalties" problem they (and YouTube) have ...
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Thank you Appleinsider for bringing back the fail whale. 
    EsquireCats
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot... This is an 88mm footgun.
    This will lose them subscribers at least in the short term. Twitter has to hope that they come back into the fold soon.
    Personally, I hope that before long the only Twitter left user is the one from a white coloured house in DC.
    fotoformat
  • Reply 4 of 10
    ednlednl Posts: 25member
    "For third-party developers like Tapbots, however, access to the Account Activity API is cost prohibitive." -- Yeah. Twitter's "Premium Account Activity API Package" is a joke with allowing a maximum of 250 accounts for a subscription price of $2899/month, so more than $10 per account per month. Ain't nobody got time or money for that. So general app developers will need (at least) "Enterprise" access of which Twitter only discloses the cost upon request. I don't imagine it's lower...

    Effectively, and this has been going on for years of course, they're shutting out 3rd party apps. Which is their good right; their platform their rules, and it wouldn't bother me as a user IF ONLY they bothered to maintain their damned apps for different platforms! Especially for Mac desktop, in my case.
    ireland
  • Reply 5 of 10
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    I can only see this being the final straw in my use of Twitter. I absolutely loathe the Twitter UI because it tries to screw everything up from the 'strict reverse date order, from where I left off last time' view that I want.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    irelandireland Posts: 17,645member
    This basically doesn’t change how I use Twitter. Turned off nogications long ago. Frustrating for some, I’m sure.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Twitter hates Apple. So I hate Twitter.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 238member
    The trouble Twitter has is that it wants to make lots of money and grow, but there doesn't seem to be a business model for that, at least not so far. So they are basically doing lots of incongruent things in hopes that something sticks. Personally, I've mostly stopped using Twitter for a completely different reason: It's become almost entirely political. Everyone is using it to broadcast their opinions, and it's draining.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 682member
    Tomorrow, Friday August 17 is #DEACTIDAY. The day to rid yourself of the stream of indignation, stupid comments, and vile invective. The day to stop following narcissists and egomaniacs. The day to #DEACTIVATE Twitter and be free. There is nothing of value on Twitter that cannot be found on other sites.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 10 of 10
    dws-2 said:
    The trouble Twitter has is that it wants to make lots of money and grow, but there doesn't seem to be a business model for that, at least not so far. So they are basically doing lots of incongruent things in hopes that something sticks. Personally, I've mostly stopped using Twitter for a completely different reason: It's become almost entirely political. Everyone is using it to broadcast their opinions, and it's draining.
    Funnily enough, I use Twitter for two things: reading about politics and venting about politics! I only started using Twitter to avoid annoying my friends on Facebook!
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