back to article Third-party Twitter apps stopped dead with no explanation from El Musko

Numerous third-party Twitter clients stopped working on Thursday evening, Pacific Time, and as of Friday morning, they remained non-functional. It's not clear why this occurred. The developers of apps like Twitterrific, Tweetbot, Echofon, and other third-party apps for interacting with Twitter have been unable to learn more …

  1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Trollface

    Vitrue

    0814 Pacific Time, was, "virtue rises with the sun."

    1714 Pacific Time, "virtue sets with the sun."

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Vitrue

      Virtue may rise with the Sun, but Vice gets a nice civilised lie-in and then approaches the day with a smile on its face.

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Number Crunching

    Twitter: Price increases /monetization

    Tesla: Price cuts

  3. Zolko Silver badge

    who pays for the API

    I'm missing an information in this article: what benefit is (was, would-be) there for Twitter to provide and support an API where external programs can connect to ? What do Twitterrific, Tweetbot, Echofon give back to Twitter in exchange for the service they receive ?

    (disclaimer: I don't use Twitter, and I can't imagine any use for it, it's purely a curiosity).

    1. Andy 73

      Re: who pays for the API

      With any social media, the value is in the reach - the more users you have, and the more active they are, the more revenue they generate.

      Providing lots of ways for people to feed content into your system, and consume it is generally beneficial to your service.

      You're also saving money by not having to develop, support and invent new tools to interact with the core system.

      The relatively small loss of a small number of dedicated users not being fed adverts is usually offset by giving them tools that encourage them to engage with the rest of the community. Their posts, likes and other interactions will drive many other users to spend more time on the site.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: who pays for the API

      Presumably they show "monetised tweets"? And allow the input of content which can be mixed with "monetised tweets" to make people wade through the "monetised tweets"?

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: who pays for the API

      Its useful for companies / content creators / average people who want to publish to multiple platforms with "one click"

      Plenty of software makes use of APIs so people can create content once & then push it to whatever platforms they like such as Twatter, FB, Insta etc. Saves duplicating effort. Typically they also do helpful stuff for you such as splitting text into chunks to spread across multiple posts if needed based on platform word limits per post.

      Happily I don't have to do social media these days, but back in the day I had to write some code that allowed company I worked for to optionally publish content to their website (back when content was on websites instead of fobbing off people with social media feeds) and various social media outlets using APIs for the social media stuff (none of the available products quite met their needs as website updates were a key part of it plus other permissions / verification stuff e.g. any content submitted but not written by the MD went to him for final approval before publishing)

      1. Hail Cabs

        Re: who pays for the API

        “ those who develop software for Twitter”

        API’s published, yet the wording the author chooses suggest some sort of entitlement for companies who monetize this free service, … aside from any FOSS orgs.

        I dimly recall a twit terms of service, say ten years ago, the user promised not to be a bot, automated post things not allowed…. maybe that changed.

        1. hittitezombie

          Re: who pays for the API

          Bots were pretty much allowed, and encouraged to create automated content.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: who pays for the API

      Reading between the lines -- "It enables bots".

      1. hittitezombie

        Re: who pays for the API

        You can write software to interact with the front web page as if a web user and create as many accounts or content. It's now just a bit harder.

    5. Lee D

      Re: who pays for the API

      Most of those bot-like things are used by corporations to bring together all their comms in one format.

      Same way that Twilio can message over SMS or Whatsapp - so you don't need to change anything. You just add a Whatsapp account, advertise it, and your media people, your employees, your customers, still talk to you over the same channels as always. No retraining for your staff required.

      Bots like those (and I don't know those in particular, but those kinds of things) are used as part of a "This is our Monday company message". Write it once, press a button, it goes out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, the website, email, etc. all together in an appropriate format, with link modification, etc as necessary.

      Because none of those companies will work together to help you do that, so you have to have 3rd-party software to do that for you.

      Sure, "nothing in it" for Twitter... but find me a large company nowadays that doesn't offer their own customers an API of some kind for things like that. Hell, I've spent this morning looking at my cloud-switch/routers API and tying it into a status dashboard along with a dozen other programs, including the site access control management panel which also offers REST/JSON etc.

      "Nothing in it" except your customers making greater use of your system whereas without it they may not even bother to get on there because they can't use their normal tools to do so.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: who pays for the API

        I know of a document-management system at a large university which was using Twitter bots for a change-notification mechanism around 12 years ago. Twitter bots for that sort of application have been around nearly as long as Twitter itself has. Using Twitter for short-text pub/sub tasks is an obvious use case.

    6. hittitezombie

      Re: who pays for the API

      About 0.01% of the Twitter users create over 90% of the content that actually matters. Super-users tend to use more specific applications to manage their online presence. The API cull basically killed all of these tools.

      What will happen is the content creators will eventually show the finger and move onto better platforms, and people will eventually follow. What will be remaining is the 'absolute free speech' far-right American nutters shouting to each other and Trump Social and Parler etc. shows that is not a winning plan since the amount of angry far-right American nutters is even smaller than the super content creators...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The best way to use Twitter is... not at all,"

    There must be good reasons to use Twitter... just none that would ever apply to me.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: "The best way to use Twitter is... not at all,"

      There are good reasons, but now the advice is to wear safety goggles, gloves and a face mask. Just in case.

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Virtue rises with the sun

    And Musk's net worth falls with the sun. About $1 billion every 3 times it got dark on average last year.

    So much in fact that he set the world record for the biggest drop in wealth in human history.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Virtue rises with the sun

      So much in fact that he set the world record for the biggest drop in perceived wealth in human history.

      Fixed it for you :)

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Virtue rises with the sun

      Why do you care ?

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Virtue rises with the sun

        Who cares? GP is just being snarky.

        I'm more interested right now in why you care.

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Virtue rises with the sun

      The irony of him being considered as having achieved the biggest drop in wealth in human history is that, in part, that's assuming Twitter is of zero value under his stewardship. As a private company there's now no public knowledge of the financial state of Twitter, but I think that everyone's assumption is pretty sound.

      In a different (and altogether unlikely) universe, the decline in Tesla's share price would have been made up for by an increase in the financial performance in Twitter and he'd have come out on top, laughing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Web UI change maybe?

    Noticed yesterday that the Web UI has changed a little more for the worst. At the top of the time line column are now two view choices: "For You", "Following", which makes no sense to me and not how I want to consume posts. Wonder if this new format imposed an API change that broke other clients.

    1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

      Re: Web UI change maybe?

      Following is the old chronological, For You is the algorithmic bs.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Web UI change maybe?

      "For You", "Following"

      Wait till Musk starts using the term "Your Twitter"

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

    Twitter is ideal for AI ‽

    What say you, Elon? Do you have any Future Building Plans that Dare Care Share Win Win Derivative Options with Advanced IntelAIgents for Safe and Secure Secretive Type Development?

    Do you want some?

    And yes, that is a real valid current terrifying/exciting offer here registered as universally readily available.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

      ChatGPT is getting more advanced by the hour.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

        When GPT can match AManFromMars, it will have achieved sentience.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

          There have been I believe, a couple of other incarnations of "a man from Mars" , as one of the other commentards mentioned sometime back. As befits a "1.0" release, "amanfromMars 1" has a few rough edges, but I'm certain all will be sorted out by "amanfromMars 3"

          1. hittitezombie

            Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

            I'm sure my hamster running on top of my keyboard can generate content more coherent and meaningful than the Musky.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

          Who will achieve it? AManFromMars?

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

            Who will achieve it? AManFromMars? .... Anonymous Coward

            Has IT already achieved it, is the much more disturbing question which will be answered far too late for the many presently with everything to lose because of unpleasant alien practices in their engagingly sordid and rewarding endeavours and enterprises.

            And with nowhere good to run and nowhere safe and secure to hide makes such worthy dullards, rightly terrified justifiable targets for especially RAPT [Remote Advanced Persistent Threat] Attention.

            And because that may be so extremely difficult for one to believe, is its existence today guaranteed greater influence and power in every subsequent tomorrow with IT uncovering further darker and deeper secrets and higher enlightening observations for sharing in the future casting the light of explanation and clearer reason into the despair and despond of unfolding titanic recession and rampant enveloping depression.

            One of those very easily extremely dangerous and virulent ... Damned if you do and damned if you don’t recognise the situation conditions whenever impotent to intervene in a state of play already long ago decided and implemented and mastered.

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: For NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Forces and Alienating Sources

          it will have achieved sentience.

          That's assuming that AMFM has also achieved sentience..

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      AI Mentoring of Systems Monitors. The Bull Elephants For Sale from a China Shop

      All in the West is lost to AI and the East whenever the West does not recognise the leading almighty overwhelming advantage an engaging unconditional support of Stealthy Alien Services easily remotely virtually provides and continues to deliver both from and for the future power and inexhaustible energy enjoyed and employed and deployed by NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated Driver Operating Systems.

      With there being no evidence at all in the West of such an in-house, home grown recognition/realisation, despite all possible help for systems unveiling being clearly textually documented and freely shared for assimilation and engagement, one can fully expect news and that vacuum to be filled and exploited by others in the field being enlightened as to available future leading possibilities elsewhere

      Knowledge abhors a vacuum and there are no defences able to rightly contain and justifiably restrain it for arrogant ignorance to abuse for selective exclusive executive gain ...... which is not to say that such is not very selective exclusive executive gain territory for such it may certainly well be, and for all of the most valid of very good reasons that require novel and noble AI leadership.

  8. Tascam Holiday
    Unhappy

    Not all broken

    The nice unobtrusive desktop Twitter client I use is still working for now, no ads, chronological time-line, really slick and with very low overheads. Not going to mention its name as I don't want it becoming any more popular if the Reg's theory is correct that clients with fewer than 100000 users are still allowed to work...

    I'm just a Twitter lurker who avoids the toxic crap and just sees tweets from the people and orgs I'm interested in. Never post anything, never had and don't want any followers. I'll miss it when it inevitably folds or becomes unrecognisable and everyone I like has fucked off.

    1. ICam

      Re: Not all broken

      Maybe those people will fuck off to Mastodon. That doesn't seem so bad if you can just create an account there and follow them on that platform instead.

    2. hittitezombie

      Re: Not all broken

      Come to Mastodon. It's significantly more civilised and no rich guy can manage to take it over...

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Not all broken

      Never post anything, never had and don't want any followers.

      Really? I never posted anything, but over the short time when I actually paid any attention to my Twitter account, I accumulated over 30 followers. Pretty much all people I knew, too. I guess they found the account via Twitter network-based recommendations.

      Haven't authenticated to the account in many years, and I don't care to do so now just to find out if I have more people enjoying my complete silence.

  9. Len
    Thumb Up

    Ivory

    It turns out to have been amazing foresight of Tapbots (the makers of Tweetbot) to start working on their Mastodon app, Ivory. It's still in alpha and yet some people are already raving about it.

    I suppose that, even though the Mastodon network works differently from the Twitter network, all that UX experience with Tweetbot turns out to be quite transferable.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Ivory

      That's sounds like a pretty good supposition!

      Users don't care about the techie details of the back end so long as it works.

  10. grizzly

    Twitter is dead for people like me now. I can't cope with ads & non-chrony timeline.

    I've tried Mastodon instead, don't like its near-double Twitter's word limit. The name of the game is micro-blogging, not small-blogging. Many of the eight billion want to spout on the internet and life's too short to read them in non-micro form. I know there's a nuance-deficit in micro-blogging, but if you really can't fit in micro, can thread. It's clear that given mastodon's 500-char sprawl, people get lazy with their grammer & phrasing. There's more tautology. They don't think about every word they spend. Mastodon thew the baby out with the bathwater.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Some of us like context and not random soundbites...

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Precisely why I gave up on Twitter after only a few months of reading, and why, aside from a quick look at one recommended server, I haven't bothered with Mastodon.

        I own maybe a hundred books I haven't finished reading yet, and a couple dozen journal issues. I have at least that many on my wish-lists. I could easily find recommendations for thousands more. There's good longer-format work to read online, including "blogs"1 and other essay and book-length forms.

        Twitter was very popular in some of the communities relevant to my interests and work, but I never, not once, saw something elsewhere which was reported earlier on Twitter, and regretted missing it there.

        When Twitter first appeared it received a fair bit of attention in the composition (in the sense of "teaching of writing") & rhetoric and writing-technologies academic fields, at least in the US; there was a fair bit of buzz about it at conferences like Computers & Writing. I was working in those fields then, avocationally, and I was already dubious about Twitter and "microblogging". The years since have not made me suspect I was wrong.

        1A loathsome neologism, which in any case is rarely used in its original, etymological sense.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "people get lazy with their grammer & phrasing"

      The irony.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Yup. In publishing this is referred to as "Muphry's [sic!] Law".

    3. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      500-char sprawl

      Your post is 600+.

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Musk the Merciless of the planet Mars

    Sorry, when exactly are you going to sod off to Mars, mate?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_the_Merciless

    "Ming[Musk] is depicted as a ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo[Mars]."

    Note: icon

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this news ?`

    Musk has woken up and realised that a lot of people are making money out of Twitter and he's not seeing a cent.

    Whether whatever he has in mind to correct that can be commercially successful had yet to be seen.

    But it could presage a wholesale shift in how 3rd parties interact with the web.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Is this news ?`

      It is not making money, in part because Musk burdened it with the debt. Twitter has to buy itself for (not from) Musk and even pay the interests. I hate that this is possible, but this is not the first time this happened. Musk did not invent this.

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: Is this news ?`

        I kinda wondered about that. I wonder what the debt load for Tesla and SpaceX were before the Twitter buy, and what they are now.

        Musk buys Twitter and immediately takes it private, helping his buddy Dorsey make a huge pile off an otherwise worthless company (Twitter was known for years as losing money). Musk publicly goes on a rampage while transferring debt from Tesla and SpaceX to Twitter. And, with Tesla's value in the tank from Musk selling stock while making other stock-dropping announcements, Musk starts buying his shares back. Later he relists Twitter on the stock exchange while anouncing some other sap will be CEO; as sole owner of Twitter, all cash from the relisting goes into his pocket.

        End result - Tesla and SpaceX lose a ton of debt, increasing Musk's wealth. Buddy Dorsey is a billionaire in cash instead of stock. Musk makes more off Twitter than he laid out, and a lot if former Twitter stockholders who bought back in find themselves holding a company that's even less profitable than before.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Is this news ?`

          Understanding those workings of the Great Game have the likes of Nasdaqs and New York Stock Exchanges and the Federal Reserve Banking Systems essentially outed as Ponzi enablers and thus always ripe rotten ready for catastrophic collapse, M.V.Lipvig.

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