If you log onto your favorite Twitter management app today, you may be in for a surprise.
This week, Twitter has enforced tighter restrictions on its API use in order to limit the capacity of tools which allow "bulk and aggressive" following behavior, like following and unfollowing many accounts at once. Tools impacted include ManageFlitter, Statusbrew and Crowdfire.
We're experiencing some issues with Twitter APIs. We're sorry for the inconvenience and are actively working with Twitter to get this resolved as soon as we can.— Crowdfire (@Crowdfire) January 30, 2019
For their part, the affected apps say that they've complied with all of Twitter's regulations, and have even worked with Twitter in recent months to ensure they're not violating the platform's API limits.
This is a policy violation notice from Twitter API Policy. An application registered to your Twitter account - ****, has been found in violation of the Developer Agreement and Policy, Automation Rules, and the Twitter Rules. Specifically, your app facilitates bulk and aggressive follow behavior, such as "follow churn."
Twitter's been implementing tighter restrictions on its API usage since last July as part of broader action to stop spammers and bot armies from misusing the platform and influencing trends. Twitter says it shut down more than 143,000 apps between April and June 2018 for similar violations, and it implemented a larger push on the same in August, which saw several other popular Twitter services cut off from the graph.
Most of these tools are still in operation, though with limited capacity, and in some cases, they've been forced to pause their apps entirely until they can get more information from Twitter.
When questioned about the reasoning behind the latest push, Twitter provided the following explanation:"Stopping spam and abuse that comes from the use of our APIs plays a big part in keeping Twitter healthy. These apps received previous warnings for violating our API rules and have been suspended. They can reapply for access with a new app that's compliant."
So, as noted, if your favorite tweet management tool isn't working like it used to, this is why, and more third-party Twitter tools could also be impacted in future.