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Third-party Twitter apps are broken, and Elon Musk is silent

Updated Jan 18th, 2023 12:06PM EST
Twitter smartphone app
Image: Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Here’s a headline you don’t read every day: Elon Musk is silent. The billionaire and now owner of Twitter still hasn’t made a statement about third-party Twitter apps not working for a few days now. Twitterific and Tweetbot are among the most used third-party clients that are not functioning.

Besides Musk, the official Twitter account or the Support counterpart hasn’t tweeted about the issue. A report by The Information (via The Verge) shows that this outage is actually deliberate. In internal messages, a senior software engineer said, “third-party app suspensions are intentional.”

According to The Information, another employee asks when they can get a list of “approved talking points” in response to complaints about third-party apps not working on Friday. A product marketing manager reportedly replies by saying that Twitter has “started to work on comms,” but that they aren’t sure when that information will be ready to share with developers.

On Mastodon, Tweetbot co-creator Paul Haddad said he was in the dark “as much as you are,” meaning that Twitter hasn’t reached him or any third-party app owner. Twitterrific account said it was aware of issues with the Twitter API. The Fenix app for Android also reported the same problem.

Elon Musk, which, since he bought Twitter, had a lot of opinions to share, has gone silent regarding this issue. Currently, the company is focusing on a 2.0 platform as it needs to generate profit as soon as possible.

As days go by, it seems Twitter is indeed trying to kill third-party apps without acknowledging that. When the company announced its new direction, it said that “an open and transparent approach to innovation is healthy” and it would embrace public testing. Unfortunately, this untold decision does not seem transparent or healthy at all.

BGR will update the story once we hear from Twitter or Elon Musk.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.