Third-party Twitter apps are going to break on June 19th, 2018.
After June 19th, 2018, “streaming services” at Twitter will be removed. This means two things for third-party apps:
If you use an app like Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, or Twitterrific, there is no way for its developer to fix these issues.
- Push notifications will no longer arrive
- Timelines won’t refresh automatically
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.
Twitter seems to finally be closing off the remainder of their open API that allowed full-fledged Twitter clients to still exist. This certainly creates a chilling effect in the future on developers spending any time or resources on projects like it that aren’t completely open. This also makes it much harder to build competing services to Twitter which have a similar financial model. I remember the heady days when there were dozens of awesome Twitter clients to chose from and interesting new things were happening in the social space.
If I was sitting on a huge pile of Twitter related code with a full set of Twitter related reading/posting functionality, I think I’d head toward some of the new open protocols coming out of the IndieWeb to build a new user base. By supporting feeds like RSS, ATOM, JSON feed, and even h-feed (possibly via Microsub) for the feed reader portion and building in the open Micropub spec, one could rejuvenate old Twitter apps to work with a myriad of microblog-like (and even traditional blog) functionality on platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Craft, WithKnown, Jekyll, Kirby, Hugo, micro.blog, and a myriad of others in the future. Suddenly all those old Twitter apps could rise from the ashes and invigorate a new, more open community. Given the open “architecture” of the community, it would give developers much more direct control of both their software and futures than Twitter has ever given them as well as a deeper sense of impact while simultaneously eating a nice portion of Twitter’s lunch. With less than a week’s worth of work, I suspect that many of these old apps could have new and more fruitful lives than the scraps they were getting before.
If the bird site doesn’t heed their cries, I hope they’ll all re-purpose their code and support the open web so that their hard work and efforts aren’t completely lost.