It’s hard to be a fan of Twitter right now. The company is sticking up for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, when nearly all other platforms have given him the boot, it’s overrun with bots, and now it’s breaking users’ favorite third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific by shutting off APIs these apps relied on. Worse still, is that Twitter isn’t taking full responsibility for its decisions.
In a company email it shared today, Twitter cited “technical and business constraints” that it can no longer ignore as being the reason behind the APIs’ shutdown.
It said the clients relied on “legacy technology” that was still in a “beta state” after more than 9 years, and had to be killed “out of operational necessity.”
This reads like passing the buck. Big time.
It’s not as if there’s some other mysterious force that maintains Twitter’s API platform, and now poor ol’ Twitter is forced to shut down old technology because there’s simply no other recourse. No.
Twitter, in fact, is the one responsible for its User Streams and Site Streams APIs – the APIs that serve the core functions of these now deprecated third-party Twitter clients. Twitter is the reason these APIs have been stuck in a beta state for nearly a decade. Twitter is the one that decided not to invest in supporting those legacy APIs, or shift them over to its new API platform.
And Twitter is the one that decided to give up on some of its oldest and most avid fans – the power users and the developer community that met their needs – in hopes of shifting everyone over to its own first-party clients instead.