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Twitter officially bans third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific

Updated Jan 25th, 2023 11:36AM EST
Twitter hack
Image: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

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Well, it’s the Twitter app or nothing now.

Over the last week, users and developers of some popular Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterrific have seen their apps break without much explanation as to why from Twitter. The sudden move and unclear communication from the company left many wondering if it was planning to ban such apps for good. Today, we have an answer.

As reported by Engadget, Twitter has quietly updated its developer agreement with a new clause that effectively bans third-party Twitter clients.

The “restrictions” section of Twitter’s developer agreement was updated Thursday with a clause banning “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.” The addition is the only substantive change to the 5,000-word agreement.

In response to the news, Twitterrific, one of the most popular Twitter clients, has announced that it is discontinuing the app immediately, saying that it was already been pulled from the iOS and macOS App Stores.

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.

Paul Haddad, the co-creator of Tweetbot, took to Mastodon to say that “I guess I didn’t realize long standing actually means a couple hours ago,” referring to the new clause that was just added to the company’s developer agreement despite that company claiming that the rules had existed beforehand in a tweet back on Tuesday.

With the move, users of any third-party Twitter client are really rolling the dice and will likely see functionality shut down over time as Twitter tightens its grip over its APIs. In the end, it seems that the company is keen on every Twitter user only using the main Twitter application where the company can serve ads and have you sign up for Twitter Blue.

Speaking of Twitter Blue, it’s on Android now! For $11 per month! Isn’t that great?

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.