Twitter Is Being Incredibly Vague on Why It Banned Third-Party Apps

The social media platform cut access from third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific earlier this month with no real explanation.

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Tweetbot allows users to customize their Twitter-viewing experience, and operates using the platform’s API.
Tweetbot allows users to customize their Twitter-viewing experience, and operates using the platform’s API.
Image: Postmodern Studio (Shutterstock)

The hits don’t stop coming as Twitter’s change-of-hands into billionaire Elon Musk’s grasp continues. Earlier this month, third-party apps like Tweetbot were barred from Twitter’s application program interface (API) without reason. Now Twitter is giving a reason—it’s just a very, very vague reason.

“Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working,” the company’s development team tweeted yesterday from its official account.

Third-party apps need access to Twitter’s API in order to operate—an API allows an application like Tweetbot, which helps users customize their Twitter viewing experience, to interface with the social media site’s digital infrastructure. Now apps like Tweetbot, echofon, and Twitterific are acknowledging connection issues reported by users. With that said, the company offered no further explanation on what those broken rules are, specifically.

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“We are aware of the connection issues, which also seem to impact other Twitter clients. We are working hard to discover and resolve the issue. Twitter has not yet replied. Thank you for your patience,” echofon tweeted last week.

Engadget suggests that the decision was made since third-party apps can block ads on Twitter, which could be hampering the company’s already floundering ad-based revenue stream. ArsTechnica reported that some of the apps switched out their API keys and found success in connecting to Twitter after being banned, but only for a short while before being disconnected again. Tweetbot’s Paul Haddon said that this proves that the bans were “intentional” and his company was “specifically targeted.” Nevertheless, these disruptions are likely a coordinated scheme to push users back onto the Twitter mobile and desktop app.

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Twitter did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment for clarification on its tweet.