Twitter officially bans third-party clients after cutting off prominent developers •

by Ana Lopez

After cutting off prominent app makers like Tweetbot and Twitterific, Twitter today quietly updated its developer terms to ban third-party customers altogether.

Spotted by Engadget, the “restrictions” section of Twitter’s 5,000-some-word developer agreement has been updated with a clause that prohibits “using or accessing the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product for the Twitter Applications.” Earlier this week, Twitter said it was “enforcing long-standing API rules” by barring customers from accessing its platform, but did not specify which ones. specifically rules that developers break. Now we know – retroactively.

As Engadget points out, Twitter clients are part of Twitter’s history — Twitterific was created before Twitter had its own iOS app. And they’ve gained a larger following in recent years, thanks in part to their lack of advertising.

Twitter’s attitude towards third-party customers has long been permissive and even supportive, with the company even going so far remove a section of the developer terms that prevented developers from replicating the core service. But that seems to be changing under the leadership of CEO Elon Musk.

Twitter Developer Terms

Image Credits: Twitter

The decision seems unlikely to foster goodwill towards Twitter at a time when the platform faces challenges on a number of fronts. In a blog postTwitterrific’s Sean Heber called Twitter “increasingly fickle” and a company he “doesn’t recognize anymore”[d] as reliable and no longer willing to cooperate.” Matteo Villa, the developer of Fenix, called the lack of communication “offensive” in an interview with Engadget. (Twitter does not currently have a communications department.)

Twitter is under tremendous pressure to turn a profit — or at least break even — as advertisers flee the platform, spurred on by unpredictable, rapidly changing content policies. The company, which has $12.5 billion in debt, is at stake for $300 million in first interest payment and has a estimated Worth $4 billion since Musk acquired it in late October 2022. Fidelity recently cut the value of its stake in Twitter by 56%.

Twitter cutbacks abound. Some employees are bringing their own toilet paper to work after the company cut cleaning services, the New York Times reported reportedand Twitter has stopped paying rent for several of its offices. Elsewhere, Musk has tried to cut about $500 million in costs not related to labor, closing a data center and launching a sale after auctioning office supplies in an effort to recoup costs.

Twitter is also heavily pushing its Twitter Blue plan (now with an annual option), aiming to turn it into a profit engine. It plans to lift its ban on political ads in the hunt for campaign dollars in the 2024 US election. And the company is reportedly considering selling usernames through online auctions.

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