Twitter API Changes Will Break Third-Party Twitter Apps Like Tweetbot and Twitterrific [Update: Twitter Responds]

Twitter has never really been friendly towards third-party Twitter client developers with its various API restrictions that force third-party apps into giving a sub-par Twitter experience. Now, with complete silence on one of its upcoming API changes that will negatively impact third-party clients, Twitter has frustrated the developers behind popular clients like Tweetbot, Twitterific, Talon, and Tweetings.

Starting from June 19, Twitter will prevent third-party Twitter clients from accessing its streaming service APIs. This will prevent all third-party Twitter apps from sending push notifications or refreshing the Twitter timeline automatically. While developers can use another method to manually refresh the timeline, they will then end up being rate limited which creates another issue entirely.

Twitter is replacing the service APIs with a new Account Activity API that it is currently beta testing. However, it has not given third-party developers with access to this new APIs. Additionally, it not yet revealed the pricing for the use of this API by Enterprise customers.

Tweetbot, Twitterific, Tweetings, and Talon are incredibly popular apps and service hundreds of thousands of clients. So, its important for the developers of these apps to know if the new API pricing plans from Twitter is going to be feasible for them or not.

Our Take

The frustration of these developers stems from the fact that despite their repeated requests, Twitter has not issued any clarifications or guidance to them. This is disappointing to see since Twitter had copied many of the features that were first introduced by a third-party client so it definitely owes a lot to them. By not supporting third-party developers and their Twitter apps, the company is all but shooting itself in the foot.

Update: Twitter has responded to developer concerns stating that it will not be retiring the Site Streams and User Streams API from June 19.

[Via Apps of a feather]