Twitter shuts down Toolbox alienating 3rd party devs

Twitter has attempted to appease its developer community in the last few years by releasing projects like Twitter API v2 and the “Twitter Toolbox” collection during the company’s turbulent relationship with third-party developers.

After Elon Musk’s takeover of the company, a few of these programs are closing down — the first being Twitter Toolbox. According to several developers, Twitter sent an e-mail earlier that said:

Thank you for being part of the Twitter Toolbox pilot program. We’ve made a difficult decision to sunset Twitter Toolbox, effective 12/15/2022

Twitter debuted this program to advertise certain apps on users’ feeds at a relevant moment.

The promoted apps included measurement and analytic tools like ilo,, Tweepsmap, Followerwonk, and Direcon; safety tools like Bodyguard and Blockparty; and scheduling and thread maker and reader apps like Chirr App, Thread Reader, Buffer, and Typefully.

Twitter Puts Twitter Tiles on Pause

The company is pausing another project — Twitter Tiles. According to an e-mail received by one developer, Twitter might reconsider the idea next year.

The test for the pilot was announced in August last year, marketing Twitter Tiles as a new version of Twitter cards that would allow developers and publishers to include customized formats with a tweet.

The concept was that whenever someone posted an URL, a format like a video, button, text, or image would automatically render — just like Twitter cards. One of the main ideas behind Twitter Tiles was to let users trade and display NFTs via tweets. The company said in an email:

We’ve concluded the best path at this time is to pull back from this pilot and pause broader experimentation efforts related to Tweet Tiles. We still believe this product concept can offer value to our users and developers like you. We’ll continue to consider this work as we undergo 2023 planning and may opt to revisit it next year

Twitter Development Insider Program

Twitter introduced the Developer Insider program last year. A Twitter staff member said it:

Aims to recognize and celebrate passionate technologists who demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing the Twitter community.

The team was to gather direct feedback about products and APIs. Even though the program is still active, the people who are part of it haven’t heard from Twitter for a while.

Terence Eden said that while he was part of the program, insiders worked on many projects, including testing out conversations and labeling useful bots.

Eden noted that the developer team was working on expanding OAuth scopes to improve developer access to certain parts of Twitter and improve the search.

Eden and another developer, Somraj Saha, told TechCrunch that the activity inside the Developer Insider program group decreased as various program managers left the company after Musk took over.

They added the group hadn’t seen any updates from Twitter since the third week of November. Although it’s not officially shut down, the program serves no purpose in its current state.

Twitter’s Relations With Developers and the Future of APIs

Quickly after Musk took over, Twitter canceled its Chirp conference. The conference, scheduled to take place after almost a decade, was highly anticipated. After it canceled the event, Twitter gave little or no information to developers.

Some of the tools built around Twitter are now expanding to different platforms like Mastodon or LinkedIn. Mastodon seems to have all the attention of third-party developers as they aim to capitalize on the sudden expansion of the network.

Typefully is a Twitter thread-making app, and it plans on extending its support to LinkedIn users. An AI-powered bot that helps you make better threads is their newest creation, and the company plans on improving the bot so that it can help with writing on LinkedIn as well.

A content moderation tool, Bodyguard, said they’re looking to add integrations to TikTok and Discord soon. ChirrApp announced that it plans to continue with its support for Twitter, but the company is already working on a Mastodon integration. It’s also open to adding more connections to different platforms.

Twitter’s worked hard on improving relations with third-party developers for the past few years, relations that now seem threatened by Musk’s policy. While emphasizing an engineering-led approach for Twitter, Musk hasn’t been vocal about the developer environment.

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