Twitter changes developer agreement to ban third-party clients


Days after cutting off outside services from accessing its application programming interface, Twitter Inc. today updated its developer agreement to ban third-party Twitter clients officially.

Third-party services that rely on the Twitter API for access were first reported to have issues as early as last Thursday. Twitter then claimed earlier this week that it was “enforcing long-standing API rules” but did not name the specific rules. As of earlier today, the developer agreement now specifically bans third-party Twitter clients.

“You will not or attempt to (and will not allow others to) … use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications,” the developer agreement now reads.

Twitter has long had a love-hate relationship with third-party app providers, well before Elon Musk took over the company. Applications providing access to Twitter were vital to the company in its early days, providing access to services and features that were not originally available on the platform.

Forward to 2023 and Musk, having taken over the company last year, continues to make significant changes to the service, including cutting costs and trying to maximize revenue. Out of the control of Twitter, third-party apps, among other things, did not show Twitter ads, the company’s primary source of revenue. By cutting access, Musk is forcing users to interact with Twitter only through applications that show ads.

Among those affected by the change is Twitterific, a client from The Iconfactory Inc. that offered the first Twitter desktop app and one of the first Twitter iOS apps. It coined the term “tweet” to describe posts on Twitter.

While third-party Twitter clients go quietly into the night, Twitter also today announced Twitter Blue for Android, a month after the service was first made available on the web and in iOS. The service costs $11 per month, more than the $8-a-month price offered by Twitter’s website because Google LLC takes a cut of all Android app transactions.

The service offers a blue checkmark, support for longer videos and the ability to test editing tweets, according to 9to5Google. Blue customers also have their tweets prioritized in replies, mentions and searches.

Photo: Unsplash

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