Twitter App I Never Used Rendered Useless

Posted on Friday, Jan 27, 2023 by Ned Bellavance

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

I’ve been using Twitter on a regular basis for close to ten years. And being the basic bitch I am, I’ve never strayed from the first-party web and Android apps. I’ve flirted with TweetDeck a few time (which is owned by Twitter), but never have I strayed into the morass of third-party apps that enhance the experience.

All of this to say, I had never heard of Twitterific before last week, when their surprise demise popped up on my feed. Turns out Twitterific was built back in 2007 and helped coin the term Tweet as well as popularize the blue bird of Twitter.

For their part Twitter has long had a tumultuous relationship with 3rd party apps, and has broken those apps several times by changing the Twitter API they rely on for functionality. Although Twitterific, and similar apps like Tweetbot and Fenix, have limped along and found workarounds over the years, that all came to a halt with nary a word from Twitter.

Basically, the folks at Twitter made a change that blocked all third-party clients without so much as a public announcement or private message to any of the client app developers. The apps. Just. Stopped. Working. Craig Hockenberry, the creator of Twitterific, published a blog post called “The Shit Show” that makes for entertaining and frustrating reading.

Finally on January 17th, four days after blocking all third-party apps, the Twitter Dev account acknowledged the change with the cryptic tweet, “Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working.” No apology, justification, or updated policy. Just a big ole “fuck you” to all the third-party apps out there.

Most of the apps have been removed from the Apple and Google app stores and now everyone is a basic bitch like me. Enjoy!