It’s a day that developers of some of the most high-profile Twitter third-party apps have dreaded, though it’s one they’ve long-known was coming: Twitter is finally shutting off some of the developer tools that popular apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific have heavily relied on. From a report: With the change, many third-party Twitter apps will lose some functionality, like the ability to instantly refresh users’ Twitter feeds and send push notifications. It won’t make these apps unusable — in some cases the apps’ users may not even immediately notice the changes — but it’s a drastic enough change that developers have mounted a public campaign against the decision.
Now, Twitter is finally weighing in on the changes, after months of publicly declining to comment on the state of third-party Twitter clients. The verdict, unsurprisingly, is complicated. The company is adamant that its goal isn’t to single out these developers. The company is retiring these APIs out of necessity, it says, as it’s no longer feasible to support them.”We are sunsetting very old, legacy software that we don’t have an ability to keep supporting for practical reasons,” says Ian Caims, group product manager at Twitter. At the same time, though, the company has also made a conscious decision not to create new APIs with the same functionality. Here’s how Twitter’s senior director of product management Rob Johnson explains the move: “It is now time to make the hard decision to end support for these legacy APIs — acknowledging that some aspects of these apps would be degraded as a result. Today, we are facing technical and business constraints we can’t ignore. The User Streams and Site Streams APIs that serve core functions of many of these clients have been in a ‘beta’ state for more than 9 years, and are built on a technology stack we no longer support.
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