Several third-party Twitter clients are experiencing issues after Twitter’s third-party API went dark. It remains unclear what’s going on as so far, neither Twitter nor new owner and CEO Elon Musk have said anything about the issues.
The issues started around 10:30pm ET on January 12th and continued into the morning of January 13th.
Moreover, the problems appear to affect different apps in different ways. Some apps, like Tweetbot, report that all API requests from the app fail. Other developers report their apps show up as ‘suspended’ in Twitter’s developer portal. And still, other apps appear to be unaffected — Android Police notes relatively new client Harpy seems to be working, and in my testing, desktop client Tweeten seems to be working just fine (although it’s based on TweetDeck, which could explain why it still works).
Tweetbot and other clients are experiencing problems logging in to Twitter. We’ve reached out to Twitter for more details, but haven’t heard back.
We’re hoping this is just a temporary glitch and will let you know more as soon as we know more.
— Tweetbot by Tapbots (@tweetbot) January 13, 2023
For those unfamiliar with Twitter’s third-party API, it enables third-party clients (apps not made by Twitter itself) to access the platform. These clients were quite popular in the early days of Twitter since they often had more (or better) features than Twitter’s own mobile app. However, over the years, Twitter has changed and restricted aspects of the API, and there has been something of a fall-off in terms of using third-party clients.
Fenix for Android suspended, no communication whatsoever from Twitter.
Probably an automated action, but I doubt very much I’ll heard from them again and be able to resolve the issue. pic.twitter.com/OUJtusaW2A
— Matteo Villa (@mttvll) January 13, 2023
While there are still plenty of people using third-party clients, for many, the additional hassle of third-party clients often wasn’t worth it. From my experience, third-party Twitter clients were some of my favourite apps, but it eventually became too difficult to use them effectively. Aside from Tweeten, which I mentioned above, I basically use the first-party Twitter app now.
Hopefully, the issues currently impacting third-party Twitter clients result from a change or update to the API and not because, as some have speculated, Twitter wants to kill third-party clients entirely. However, it remains to be seen how this all plays out.