Twitter Kills Off Third-Party App Features

Twitter has restricted access to APIs, which effectively kills off certain key features in popular third-party apps.

Most notably, third-party apps have lost the ability to deliver push notifications and refresh the timeline automatically.

Unofficial Twitter apps can still send notifications to users, but they will now be delayed. In addition, refreshing the timeline to get new tweets will now have to be done manually.

These updates impact third-party apps such as Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Talon, and Tweetings. This will not affect the official Twitter app.

In fact, the company stated in an announcement that it is pulling access to these features in order to devote more resources to its own native app.

“Our goal is to deliver the best Twitter for you. This year, we’re moving faster towards this goal by focusing on improving Twitter for iOS, Android, and As part of this, we’ve chosen to stop supporting some other experiences.”

Twitter has been warning developers for years that this day would eventually come. So today’s changes should not be a surprise to third-party app developers, or people who use the apps.

The company notes that the following recent feature and settings improvements are only possible in an official app:

  • Better organization of Tweets to mitigate troll-like behavior
  • More aggressive enforcement of company guidelines during live videos
  • Faster ways to find relevant Tweets and videos
  • Consistent app navigation and real-time Tweet engagement counts
  • Control over your Twitter data
    Improved accessibility support
  • Notifications and Direct Message controls
  • Explore (including Moments)
  • Periscopes
  • Polls
  • Bookmarks

Those who use third-party Twitter apps will still be able to do so for the foreseeable future, as Twitter says its “strongly committed to ongoing investment in our developer ecosystem.”

Although, as is evident by today’s changes, users will not have access to the full set of features offered by the official app.