The new Twitter, led by its fierce billionaire acquirer Elon Musk, keeps making the headlines but not necessarily for good reasons. This time, its effort to flush out third-party apps from the ecosystem appears to be working as many software developers have dropped their gloves after being shut out from the social media platform.
The creators of Twitterrific, arguably one of the best-known and longest-dated third-party apps for the platform, have already taken down their software from the iOS and Android marketplaces after realizing that things will never go back to the way they were.
In a blog post published this morning, the parent company of the app, Iconfactory, commented: “We are sorry to say that the app’s sudden and undignified demise is due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly capricious Twitter – a Twitter that we no longer recognize as trustworthy nor want to work with any longer”.
Subscriptions have been automatically cancelled by both marketplaces. The firm encouraged users not to ask for a refund for their latest monthly subscription as their business is already hurting from Elon Musk’s unanticipated measures.
Other third-party apps such as Fenix have also taken down their software from the mobile marketplaces after deeming Twitter’s latest policies and lack of communication as “increasingly capricious” and “insulting” for developers who had worked with the app for years.
Twitter Changes its Developer Agreement Without Notice
Even though no official announcement has been made by Twitter as to why it has suddenly shut down access to its application programming interface (API), which is used by developers to create these apps, a tweet from the firm’s official developer-facing account said that Twitter is just “enforcing its long-standing API rules” and that such measure may result in “some apps not working”.
It appears that some changes were made to Twitter’s Developer Agreement today that prohibit the creation of interfaces that aim to become substitutes for the social media platform’s original app.
The clause, now being listed under the “Restrictions on Use of Licensed Materials”, states that developers will not (or attempt to) “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications”.
Musk’s Approach Seems to Prioritize Profits over Credibility or Reputation
Elon Musk seems to be in a rush to make Twitter a profitable endeavor as he ramped up the firm’s corporate debt to just over $12 billion while facing an upcoming $300 million interest payment.
The firm has suffered an exodus of advertisers who feared that the platform’s erratic content policies could hurt their brands if things get out of hand.
Musk fired roughly half of Twitter’s workforce, including the entire communications team, and slashed the number of content moderators – both full-time and freelancers.
In addition, he has been shutting down many of Twitter’s offices and employees have reported that janitorial services within their workplaces have also been suspended, forcing them to take their own toilet paper to work.
The head of Tesla (TSLA) seems to be focused on changing Twitter’s business model to be more subscription-reliant rather than depending on advertisers’ goodwill to survive. In this regard, the re-launch of the firm’s Twitter Blue premium subscription is just an example of that approach.
The firm is also reportedly exploring the possibility of auctioning popular usernames. In addition, Twitter recently eliminated its ban on political ads – a major source of revenue for the firm until 2019 when it decided to prohibit all cause-based ads.
This latest ban on third-party apps may be a way for Twitter to gain exclusive rights to develop advanced interfaces for sophisticated users that it can charge for to shore up its finances.
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