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Twitter plans on breaking all third-party apps/clients this June

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 iOS and Android, but Twitter's going to essentially break each and every one after June 19, 2018.

UPDATE: Twitter released an official statement from its @TwitterDev account stating that, though the Activity API update will still go into effect for third-party developers, the enforcement date has been delayed.

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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 and Talon for Android and Tweetbot and Twitteriffic on iPhone, this news is aggravating, to say the least. Twitter's mobile 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?

How do you feel about Twitter's decision to get rid of streaming services, thus essentially crippling all third-party Twitter clients?

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When Joe isn't acting as the News Editor for Android Central, he can be found helping out with articles here and there at iMore. He was last spotted at Starbucks surrounded by peppermint mochas. Have a tip? Send an email to joe.maring@mobilenations.com!

4 Comments
  • This is quite sad news. I have reported to all the mentioned avenues.
  • I'll simply stop using the service, just as I stopped using Instagram when they cut off 3rd party access. I will not be subjected to Twitter's garbage "sponsored tweets" just to use their crappy service. No loss, really.
  • 3rd party access isn't being cut off, just the use of push notifications and automatically refreshing timelines. You can read the best information about the how the changes will affect you here: http://apps-of-a-feather.com Please share that website as much as possible, it'll help put a lot more pressure on Twitter to fix this issue.
  • "Twitter plans on breaking all third-party apps/clients this June" This is a sensationalist title, what they're breaking is the use of "streaming services". This means:
    1. Push notifications will no longer arrive
    2. Timelines won’t refresh automatically Apart from this, your third-party app/client will work fine. Of course, I'm not defending Twitter, it's very bad what they're doing, I'm just giving a bit of clarity since the title makes it sound like your Twitter clients will flat out not work. The website is linked in the article, but in case people missed it, http://apps-of-a-feather.com gives the best information on this.