Twitter’s API for third-party clients has been broken for more than two days

Ben Schoon on 9to5Google, Jan. 12, 2023:

Around 11 p.m. ET this evening, many Twitter users noticed that third-party clients were throwing back error messages related to the Twitter API. This widespread outage is occurring across all third-party apps including Twitterrific, Fenix, Talon, and many others on both Android and iOS, as well as macOS. Tweetbot is also affected by the API outage, but Tweetdeck, thankfully, appears unaffected.

My usual Twitter client, Tweetbot, has not been working since then and keeps saying “must to sign in again” (as you might expect, signing in again does not solve any problems). At the same time, a large number of other third-party Twitter clients were also having issues. The third-party clients still working have the characteristic of not having “huge” users, making people wonder if this broke is intentionally filtered by the amount of usage.

I think this is intentional. The recent chaos of Twitter might cause a lack of personnel for the API team, but there must be another reason for the current situation. I agree with what David Nelson said in his post on Mastodon:

There’s been speculation that this might be a test to see if absence of third-party #Twitter apps affects engagement. But it doesn’t matter anymore. We’re watching the developers react in real-time on a competing platform. Their trust in Twitter is gone. Their customers’ trust in Twitter is gone. And they’re more loyal to the developers than they ever were to Twitter. API usage could have been a feature of Blue. But now people are lining up to pay for #Ivory, #Mammoth, #Mona, etc.—not Twitter.

As David said, I’m switching to Mastodon too as I no longer trust Twitter. I don’t want to endure the terrible experience of the official Twitter client, and some of the Twitter users I follow have already begun to actively use Mastodon instead of Twitter. In terms of experience, I believe Ivory from the same developers as Tweetbot can bring me the same good experience.

For those who stayed on Twitter, I might subscribe to their tweets through RSS. Reeder does a good job in this regard and was not affected by this API suspension.

I was active on Twitter from about 2015 to 2019, but since then I have been affected by other things in life and have reduced my writing, whether it be articles or tweets. This time, Twitter’s broken API made me think about restarting writing when I decided to go to Mastodon, which is also why I set up this blog again and wrote this article.

In the end, we should not be attached to platforms and forms. Blogs are also a good alternative to Twitter, and one sentence can also become a blog post as long as you care more about content than interactions.