As Twitter moves to tighten control over the way its data is used, various third-party tools will this week lose some of their functionality, and may not work how you’ve come to know them.
Damn. This is basically the end of Tweetbot (and other third-party apps) as we know them pic.twitter.com/pduACXNsWG— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) August 15, 2018
Now, it’s not truly ‘the end’, most of the functions of such apps will remain. But it will squeeze their capacity - and with those tools becoming a little less useful, many users could look to switch to alternatives.
For their part, Twitter has explained the changes by noting that they would prefer to offer such tools through their owned platforms, through which they maintain full control.
“We feel the best Twitter experience we can provide today is through our owned and operated Twitter for iOS and Android apps, as well as desktop and mobile twitter.com. We’ve long believed this and we’ve focused on delivering the best experience for our apps and sites for years.”
Essentially, Twitter would prefer that you use its own analytics tools, and its proprietary tweet management app, TweetDeck.
“We’re still strongly committed to ongoing investment in our developer ecosystem. Our investments are focused on helping developers create fundamentally new and innovative ways to use Twitter. Also, we’re continuing to invest in TweetDeck, our desktop web client for professionals who need more advanced tools.”
Note the ‘new and innovative’ mention – it seems that Twitter's making a shift to limit access to tools which replicate its own provided options. Which makes sense – Facebook, for example, has seen success with this strategy by making Facebook Page posting so limited on third-party platforms that you’re better off posting and scheduling on Facebook itself.
Twitter may be slowly moving towards the same. Such a move would not only enable Twitter to glean more insight into how social managers are utilizing such tools, but it would also increase on-platform usage rates, providing more opportunities to upsell them on new features and tools, and maximize the platform’s opportunities.
Twitter’s had a mixed relationship with developers, and in large part, it seems that, over time, they’ve mostly gone the other way – they’ve provided too much access to their platform tools and data, which has somewhat lessened the value of their core product.
It’ll take them some time to reverse this, but that does appear to be where Twitter is headed.
If your favorite Twitter connected app ain’t working the way it used to, this is likely why.