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Twitter shutters legacy APIs and borks third-party apps in the process

TWITTER HAS been on the receiving end of some fairly vitriolic criticism after it implemented a planned shut down of its legacy API.

The hashtag #BreakingMyTwitter has been sharing the anger of users and developers of third-party apps which have greatly reduced functionality or have simply ceased to function altogether.

Today, the company released a statement in which it explained that the decision to break the features of apps like Tweetbot was necessary to, essentially, keep its shareholders sweet.

In it there’s a “told you so” dating back to 2011, warning devs not to make apps that do what the official app does. In 2012 it warned that it would limit the use of the API, which it did.

After that, it gave exceptions to certain apps, but warned: “We’ve repeatedly told developers that our APIs does not prioritise client use cases”.

It goes on: “Today, we are facing technical and business constraints we can’t ignore”, adding that the API in question is a nine-year-old beta based on a technology stack in no longer supports.

“We’re not changing our rules, or setting out to ‘kill’ 3rd party clients” it says, but talks of operational necessities to make good on its warnings, adding that it wouldn’t be cost effective to build a new API, even pointing out that the affected apps account for one per cent of Twitter traffic.

So basically, a huge f*ck you to the active minority.

As many question why they’re faffing about with this when all most people want is an edit button, Twitter suggests using its own apps. Which is fine, expect Tweetdeck, which Twitter bought, is only available on Windows now and isn’t exactly being nurtured like it’s the only game in town. Which it is.

Twitter continues to slosh money about at stuff that doesn’t work out (Android TV anyone?) but seems oblivious to what its users want, as opposed to the classic “our users tell us” that anyone would think it was being run by Microsoft.

As for today, Twitter is more or less unrepentant and a lot of apps are crippled, unable to run key functionality like push notifications. 

This year it removed 143,000 apps usage of the API for bad behaviour. μ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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