Twitter plans on breaking all third-party apps/clients this June (Updated: API change is delayed)

For years, third-party Twitter clients have offered alternative ways to access the popular social network for users that weren't fans of Twitter's official apps. These clients have been hugely popular across a variety of platforms, but Twitter's going to essentially break each and every one after June 19, 2018.

Update: Twitter has now chimed in on the matter noting "We are delaying the scheduled June 19th deprecation date...As always, we're committed to providing ample time to migrate. We will provide at least 90 days notice of deprecation date from when the Account Activity API becomes generally available to all developers. More specifics on timing to come."

After that date, Twitter will be eliminating its "streaming services." When this happens, push notifications will no longer work and timelines won't automatically refresh.

Streaming services are being replaced by the new Account Activity API, and while this could be used as a way to keep notifications working as is, the possibility of this happening is looking rather weak. Twitter still hasn't given third-party developers access to the API, and while the free version of it allows for push notifications to work for 35 accounts, pricing details for the Enterprise model that supports an unlimited number of users have yet to be announced.

Also, while the Account Activity API could keep push notifications working, there's currently no way for third-party developers to keep automatic timeline refreshes in place.

Twitter's never been open to developers creating third-party clients that are often better than its own apps, and for years its tried to combat this with a token system.

The folks behind Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Twitterrific have banned together to raise awareness of this situation, and it's suggesting that users do any of these four things to try and protest the changes:

  1. Ask @TwitterDev to correct this situation
  2. Share your feelings using #BreakingMyTwitter
  3. Talk about it on your podcast or blog
  4. Spread the word with links to this website.

As a long-time fan of apps like Flamingo, Fenix, and Talon, this news is aggravating, to say the least. Twitter's Android app has gotten considerably better over the years, but there are still a lot of things that other apps do much better. By removing push notifications and automatic timeline refreshes, these apps will be impossible to use as a default client for a lot of users.

What's your take on all this?

Joe Maring
  • Them twitter apps are all paid. I didnt say pricey but paid. Doesnt matter $.99 or $9.99. We non credit card users have no way to purchase it.
  • Today's world, like it or not.
  • What's going to happen to services that use twitter to identify you.
    I highly doubt Microsoft will be disconnected.
  • Using it to connect an account and creating an actual client to use Twitter without downloading the official app is totally different. Assuming, you are referring to situations where logging into a game or some other app allows you to use your social media account to login.
  • Microsoft does not have a Twitter 3rd party app.
  • Isn't this a regular second party act anyways?🤷🏽
  • I don't use twitter enough to care. But i know people that use other clients because they are better than first party, ultimately the users will suffer.
  • Sounds like Twitter are struggling to make money, so they are going after to folks who are making money of the platform. But it's short sighted and moronic, by penalising third party devs they alienate alot of people. Especially those who use third party clients and some which are waaaaay better than Twitter's own client/app.
  • I wouldn't mind if they had at least a decent native App for Windows. The new Twitter app that came with build 1803 does not support multiple accounts and is a skeleton of an app, at best.