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Twitter Will Break Third-Party Clients in June ( 53

Come this June, Twitter says it will disable "streaming services", a feature third-party Twitter clients such as Talon, Tweetbot, Twitterrific use to stream the timeline and send push notifications. A replacement for streaming service, the Account Activity API, isn't being made available to third-party developers. In a letter, developers wrote: The new Account Activity API is currently in beta testing, but third-party developers have not been given access and time is running out. With access we might be able to implement some push notifications, but they would be limited at the standard level to 35 Twitter accounts -- our products must deliver notifications to hundreds of thousands of customers. No pricing has been given for Enterprise level service with unlimited accounts -- we have no idea if this will be an affordable option for us and our users.

We are incredibly eager to update our apps. However, despite many requests for clarification and guidance, Twitter has not provided a way for us to recreate the lost functionality. We've been waiting for more than a year. This change affects people who use third-party Twitter apps. All software platforms are affected, but it's worse on iOS and Android where users rely on push notifications to know when something happens on Twitter.

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Twitter Will Break Third-Party Clients in June

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    around someone else's api
    there's no way whatever option they give you is cost effective because they want you gone

  • Dumb businesses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Friday April 06, 2018 @03:34PM (#56394327)
    So a few dummies built their entire businesses around relying on the good will of a single completely unrelated business. Big deal. They deserve to go out of business for such a dumb, short-sighted decision.
    • The issue is not whether to feel sorry for these businesses. The issue is around users suffering and Twitter destroying themselves (yet again). I mean Twitter just cancelled their MacOS client, so if you want a full featured Mac twitter client, apparently you are now screwed if Twitter doesn't come to the party with Tweetbot, etc.

      • Re:Dumb businesses (Score:4, Insightful)

        by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Friday April 06, 2018 @03:54PM (#56394485) Journal

        Twitter is a web site.
        It is displayed by the browsers I use on macOS/OS X just fine.

        • If the web site is so great, why do they create apps for other platforms? Anyway, the API is about notifications, and as far as I see the twitter web site does not issue notifications in the same way an app does.

          • I don't know if the web site is 'great'.
            But I don't install or care for an Application on my desktop, when I simply can visit the web site.

      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        so if you want a full featured Mac twitter client, apparently you are now screwed if Twitter doesn't come to the party with Tweetbot, etc.

        Or you use this new invention called a “web browser?”

      • I fail to see how it's an issue if Twitter decides to destroy themselves. Frankly I can't wait for that to happen since they are so hypocritical with enforcing their own policies.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This seems to only effect people who use multiple accounts and don't use the official twitter app, you know like russian spambots and fake news orgs like infowars. If twitter is doing this to limit the ability of these spam armies then great.

    • I have to disagree. In the early days Twitter's open API was the big boon to the entire platform. It really made the platform feel really open to have such a rich API at your finger tips that could push a notification out to a large group of folks and get feedback from the group in record time. It also worked with SMS and that was just crazy awesome at the time.

      Time went by and we've basically seen every social platform turn into a walled garden. I think at that point devs should have jumped shipped, ma

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        That is pretty neat. But Twitter is a for-profit company. They're going to want to make money, eventually. Invariably, that means that they're going to close things off once the money gets tight. Hanging your hat on a company/service that you don't own is never going to work out well in the long run.

        Now a similar, non-profit system like Twitter, could be done well, and could be as extensible as you describe. Maybe somebody will want to do something like that, eventually...?
        • by johanw ( 1001493 )

          At the moment Twitter is only a for-loss company. They only burn money and have no idea how to ever be profitable. Maybe they'll try to spam users with ads so hard that they run away even harder?

        • Well you do have to remember we're talking way back in 2006-2010. It wasn't unusual to think of these social platforms being about as open as say DNS. That changed really quickly obviously. But yeah, I get your point, it was a lot of idealism that wasn't taking reality into consideration. The big rush was "open" everything, hell I remember the IBM ads with the "linux" child and Apple banging the "open" gong with Facetime, so it seemed that everyone was going to go "open" and perhaps even "standards" lev

      • Time went by and we've basically seen every social platform turn into a walled garden.

        There is a reason we cannot have nice things. It's called "spam".

        People were happy when an open API allowed their friends to communicate easily. People got unhappy when not-friends took advantage of the same API. "Why are you allowing this to happen?", they asked. "Stop it." "It" was "fake news" or "spam" or "hate speech" or whatever.

        So now they're acting to stop it. Welcome to the walled garden.

        • There is a reason we cannot have nice things. It's called "spam".

          Oh yeah, I totally agree with that. Blah, talking about people ruining it for everyone. But do remember that even email suffers from that problem but we've seen email still stay strong. I think those who owned the platforms just weren't up for policing the platforms they created nor tossing their weight into a solution that would have helped filter out the spam. It's definitely one of those moments where the "innovators" were not taking a strong stance with the software and platform that they had created

          • But do remember that even email suffers from that problem but we've seen email still stay strong.

            Email is no longer the killer app that it once was. It is unreliable and requires massive resources just to stay that bad. "Best currently available method" doesn't mean "it's working great!"

            I use email on a regular basis for status updates from various places around the world and various systems I manage. I use it for alerts to problems. I cannot know from day to day if the alerts will actually get through since what works today can be blocked tomorrow without any notice.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday April 06, 2018 @03:44PM (#56394395)

    I found a live webcam feed of sheep.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I prefer PornHub.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday April 06, 2018 @03:44PM (#56394397)

    In the midst of a big push for people to leave social media, they are trying harder and hard to push people away.

    If I were Twitter I'd have zero API limits, and let anyone make a client that desired it. You could easily work in advertising to that model, say embedded ad messages, or some kind of ad feed that would be mandatory for any Twitter client to support in some way that would be reviewed.

    • The easiest way to do that would be some revenue sharing. 10% cut of the ad revenue or something.

    • If I were Twitter I'd have zero API limits,

      Welcome to USENET. Zero API limits. Then the "Green Card" folks dropped by for a visit. Then Eternal September.

      "People" don't want zero API limits. They want a moderated place where they get what they want and don't get what they don't want.

      • I mean API limits more from the standpoint of anyone that could write a client that would support any number of users on the platform.

        I agree that something like Twitter needs to have the ability to pull an API key if rampant abuse is detected or the client does not meet some standards of testing. So I don't mean open as in "anyone can just write a twitter client that will work forever".

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday April 06, 2018 @03:45PM (#56394407)

    Twitter has been the place to find breaking news - especially for sports - for several years, which is the main reason I have stayed on the platform. But Twitter's management doesn't seem to know what to do with the product, and each change makes it less useful.

    Take Notifications, for instance. Until a short while ago, Notifications worked exactly how you would expect - they were heads' ups regarding new direct messages, announcements about your account, etc. But at some recent point Twitter decided this was apparently an "underused opportunity" or some such nonsense, and started piling garbage into there. Now, whenever I get a notification alert, it's invariably something stupid like "so-and-so retweeted a tweet from such-and-such". I won't be surprised if, in the coming months, we start seeing "sponsored" notifications - e.g. advertisements. Long story short... I no longer even look at the Notifications panel, and have a permanent (and ever-increasing) tag indicating the number of unread items there.

    Then there are the "Who to Follow" and "While You Were Away" injections into my timeline. You could argue the former might be worthwhile, if there appeared to be any logic behind it... but the suggestions seem to make little sense, and I suspect at least some of them are paid. With the latter - Twitter is all about recency, so why would I really care about a tweet from 12 hours ago? Anything worthwhile would have shown up on the more traditional media outlets at this point, and with much greater detail (and context).

    And "Sponsored Tweets" - just call them ads, since that's what they are. I have yet to see one remotely interesting.

    Bottom line - I find myself going to Twitter less and less. It still seems like an interesting idea in theory, but they're hell-bent on making it worthless.

  • How troublesome. Hooking your cart to someone else's horse, and being upset when it doesn't go where you want.

    Twitter messages are so small in terms of data payload. Too bad there isn't a open way to deliver really simple messages like these, syndicating them over the internet so to speak, to a wide audience without going through a single for-profit company's servers...

  • They won't let you see your friends wall? Just automate a browser and scrape the walls contents. I know, I know, twitter not facebook. Point stands, if they let you see it, you can collect it.

  • I wonder if Twitter's old API could be conceptually mapped to the things a XMPP server (or maybe IRC?) does. You could then add the old API and then tell all the Twitter developers, "Come over here to your new home!"

    (And then Oracle could buy Twitter and sue you, since APIs are suddenly property now. Holy crap, how come that story already faded?!)

  • Postponed (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2018 @04:24PM (#56394671)

    Engadget reports that twitter's postponed this...

    Horse's mouth:

  • Most people who use third-party apps do it not because they hate twitter, but because they love twitter and the apps give them a better experience. If they stick with the apps, this just means they will not get notifications, will not open and engage with the site as often and will likely soon realize how shallow and useless Twitter is for anything other than emergency alerts and complaining.
    • As a third party app user, I use it because the official app is crap, the website gives me shit I don't want, no matter how many times I say I don't want it, fucks up the timelines and generally makes it awkward to actually see what I'm interested in. And that's just the desktop site. The mobile site is even worse.

      Yeah, yeah, it's free so I'm the product. Whatever. The main issue is that Twitter can't or won't make their own offering better and are having yet another hissy fit towards those that do.

      I have n

  • A month ago, I reviewed the migration guide for applications using the streaming APIs and it was apparent to me then that this was EXACTLY what Twitter intended to do. For those well-meaning folks who ask if one can just "scrape" the UI and reproduce the data, the answer is no. Not only would you be missing key information, but Twitter would kick you off for TOS violations so fast you'd think they actually COULD manage to achieve one of their intended goals (which is, admittedly, not often the case). Say
  • Another one shoots themselves in the foot and I'm amused, pleased. Evil service that does nothing but harm civilized society making it harder to use it? Awesome.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10