Third-party Twitter apps including Tweetbot and Twitterrific are offline, but why?

Tweetbot on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Users of third-party Twitter apps have today found that they can't see their timeline or post new tweets with apps like Tweetbot, Aviary, and Twitterrific all affected.

The issue, which is affecting Twitter apps on all platforms including iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows, hasn't yet been confirmed by Twitter, and, worryingly, it isn't yet known whether the problem is a glitch or the result of a decision made by Twitter itself.

No tweets for you

Developers of third-party Twitter apps have long worried that the social network would one day remove their access to its public API, a tool that they need in order to hook into its systems. With that API seemingly now unavailable, developers are left scratching their heads as to what's going on.

Some developers have already reached out to Twitter for an explanation as to what's going on, but are yet to receive a response. It isn't clear whether there is even anyone left at Twitter to answer their questions given owner Elon Musk's recent firings — although he did subsequently have to re-hire some people after firing them by mistake.

As of this writing the only way that people can access Twitter is via its official app and the company's website. Unfortunately, Twitter is far from the best iPhone app in the App Store for using Twitter, which has left some users stuck.

The hope is that this is simply an outage and that the Twitter API will return once more, but given some of the policy decisions made by Musk and his management team since the $44 billion late last year, that is far from a certainty.

Some of those decisions have already pushed some users away from Twitter, with the federated social network Mastodon proving to be a popular alternative. This latest move, if intentional, could drive yet more people to make the move over sooner rather than later. 

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.