Twitter apps are still broken and Musk is still silent


It’s been a few days since pretty much every major third-party Twitter client broke, and developers say they still haven’t heard from the company about what’s going on. The problems seemed to start on Thursday night, with some users reporting getting it errors related to authentication.

The silence of the company is almost complete. “Still no official/unofficial information from inside Twitter,” said Tweetbot co-creator Paul Haddad a Mastodon post. “We are as much in the dark as you are,” read one Friday blog post from Iconfactory, the company behind Twitterific.

As of Sunday afternoon, there have been no tweets from either of them about the plight of third-party apps the official Twitter accountthe Twitter support accountor Elon Musk. (So ​​much for”transparency creates trust.”) The company does not have a communications department that we can directly ask about.

Apps like Twitterific have since started displaying a notification to users to fix the outage. “Twitterific users are currently unable to access the service”, reads the message. “This may just be a temporary bug; it could be a more serious problem. The Tweetbot app displays a similar message.

There has been speculation from Twitter usersdevelopers and some news channels that this is a move by Twitter to completely shut down external customers. However, one Saturday report The information seems to confirm that the glitch is intentional. In internal posts reviewed by the outlet, a senior software engineer says “third party app suspensions are intentional” in a Slack channel dedicated to Twitter outages and other disruptions.

According to The information, another employee asks when they can get a list of “approved talking points” in response to complaints about third-party apps not working Friday. A product marketing manager reportedly replies by saying that Twitter “started working on communications,” but they’re not sure when that information will be ready to share with developers.

Haddad says his company believes the outage is intentional, and the Iconfactory post points to the possibility of “a new (seemingly unannounced and unannounced) policy that will only be applied to apps with large numbers of users.”

Some apps like Albatross and Fenix ​​have continued to work for me and some othersalthough according to the latter developer, the Android version got the ax, while the iOS version stayed. The first-party Twitter app still works, too.

Third-party apps rely on Twitter’s API to get data from the service, a point that has been moot in the past when the company went through a period where it neglected tools for third-party developers.

That seemed to change before Elon Musk bought the company, but where he stands on alternative Twitter apps isn’t clear; he doesn’t seem to have said much positive or negative about them. However, its Twitter 2.0 has incentives to make its first-party app the only game in town; desperately trying to make money, the company focuses on its Blue subscription service that offers features in its own client. In addition, third-party apps often do not display ads, which means that some users may not generate any revenue at all.

It’s hard to tell if the remote client outage is due to the API. Trying certain calls from my individual Twitter developer account seemed to work Twitter’s own API explorer tool is currently broken.

Update January 13, 9:05 PM ET: Updated to reflect that it’s now been about a day since the issues started, and to note Twitter’s continued silence.

Update January 14, 8:45 AM ET: Updated to indicate it’s been a few days since the issues started, and to include a report from The information indicating that the failure is “intentional”.

Update January 14, 11:58 ET: Updated to add that some third-party apps will display notifications about the outage to users.


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