Elon Musk drops the ban hammer on classic Windows Twitter apps

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What you need to know

  • Elon Musk of Tesla fame purchased Twitter last year for $44 billion dollars. 
  • Since the acquisition, Musk has made rapid changes to the platform in a bid to find profitability. 
  • With a deeper emphasis on algorithms and ad-tracking, Musk's Twitter has culled third-party app access, delivering a blow to classic Windows apps like Tweetium. 

It's probably unsurprising, but irritating if you're still actively using one of the great third-party Twitter apps out there. 

This past week, it seems Twitter has officially and without warning shut down third-party access to its APIs. This means that great third-party Twitter apps like Tweetium are now effectively dead, meaning that the only way to access Twitter is via the web or official apps. As of writing, some third-party wrappers for the web version of Twitter and Tweetdeck are still functional, such as the excellent Tweeten, but it remains to be seen how long these will last as well. 

Long-term Windows PC and Windows Phone users will remember how indie developers stepped up to support the platform with popular third-party solutions in a world where first parties wouldn't. Tweetium was a personal favorite of mine, built for UWP, it worked great across both Surface devices and Nokia Lumia Windows phones while the first-party app was often a crashtacular mess. 

Tweetium launched back in the Windows 8 days, and has remained updated all the way through to Windows 11. Other great third-party Windows Twitter apps included Tweet It! Fenice, and the gorgeous Aeries. 

Twitter has laid off thousands of workers in the past year. Elon Musk's acquisition of the firm has seen rapid changes hit the service, as Musk tries to find profitability for the niche, but influential social media platform. 

The death of third-party Twitter apps essentially locks Twitter users into the ad-driven service across mobile apps and the web, which should help Twitter claw back some profitability. 

Many of the third-party services offered by independent devs reduced or in some cases completely removed Twitter ad delivery mechanics, which no doubt hit profitability. 

Twitter in previous years offered API access for free, but gradually ramped up the cost of accessing API calls, which many developers passed on to users in the form of subscriptions. Musk would doubtless prefer to have Twitter users subscribe to Twitter Blue to avoid ads instead. Twitter Blue costs around $10 per month in exchange for a reduction in ads, as well as algorithmic priority for your tweets in the service's TikTok-like "For You" page. 

Posted by WindowsCentral on 
Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!