Twitter Kills Third Party Apps

For those of you who enjoy Twitter but use different apps to do so, these have been a sad few days. By tightening control over the Twitter API, Twitter kills many 3rd party apps. The longer explanation is that Twitter ending support for 3rd party apps means the company has cut off access to their system by 3rd parties. The company halted access through the API (application programming interface). 

For me, my go-to Twitter app was TweetCaster. I have used this to tweet and read tweets for years. Suddenly it stopped working. After a brief bit of research, I realized that Twitter killed TweetCaster. TweetCaster was not the only app affected. Here is another take on the story from SearchEngineJournal.

The app that I use on my desktop, TweetDeck, is still operating. So that is some good news for me.

As you will read in the interview, not only can TweetCaster not connect to Twitter (401 error), TweetCaster was removed from the Google PlayStore.

So many users connect with Twitter through other apps, writing the headline “Twitter Kills 3rd Party Apps” seems like a bad move by Twitter. Twitter has tightened on the use of the API before, but this time it feels more permanent. 

Twitter kills 3rd party apps
Twitter kills 3rd party apps

Here is a Q and A with the very smart and always with it ChatGPT around the situation at Twitter and what it means to be a “public trust”.

Wayne: Why did Twitter cut off 3rd party access?

Twitter cut off access to its API for third-party developers in order to have more control over its platform and to improve the user experience. By limiting access to its API, Twitter can better regulate the types of apps and services that interact with its platform. This ensures that they align with its policies and terms of service. Additionally, it can also better protect user data, and improve the performance and reliability of its services.

Wayne: Why are many users mad that Twitter cut off 3rd party access?

Many users are upset that Twitter cut off access to its API for third-party developers. This limits their ability to customize and enhance their experience on the platform. Third-party apps and services provide a wide range of functionality, including additional features, different ways of viewing and interacting with tweets, and various tools for managing and analyzing social media activity. With these apps, users are able to tailor their Twitter experience to their specific needs and preferences. Many users believe that by cutting off access to its API, Twitter is limiting their ability to use the platform in the way that they want. Overall, making the experience less enjoyable.

Wayne: Many users think of Twitter and media outlets (Fox News, CNN) as a public trust. What are the elements of a public trust relationship?

A public trust relationship is a legal concept in which certain assets, such as land or natural resources, are held in trust by the government for the benefit of the public. The government has a fiduciary duty to manage and protect these assets for the public’s benefit. Citizens have the right to access and use them.

In the context of social media and news outlets, there is a concept of public trust. The idea of a public trust relationship may refer to the responsibility of these organizations to provide accurate and unbiased information to the public. The elements of a public trust in this context could include transparency, accountability, and a commitment to serving the public interest.

Wayne: What were the most popular 3rd party apps for Twitter?

There are many popular third-party apps for Twitter, but some of the most commonly used ones include:

  1. TweetDeck: This app allows users to manage multiple Twitter accounts and track specific keywords, hashtags, and mentions all in one place.
  2. Hootsuite: This app is another popular option for managing multiple Twitter accounts and scheduling tweets in advance. It also offers analytics and social media monitoring features.
  3. Buffer: This app is mainly used for scheduling tweets in advance and also has a analytics feature.
  4. Sprout Social: A more advanced tool that allows users to manage their Twitter accounts. It also manages accounts on other social media platforms. Sprout provides analytics, scheduling, and monitoring capabilities.
  5. IFTTT: Short for “If This Then That,” this app allows users to create “recipes” that automate actions across multiple apps and services, including Twitter.
  6. Tweetbot: A popular twitter client app for Mac and iOS. Tweetbot allows users to customize their experience, such as muting specific words, hashtags, and users. It also provides analytics of your account.

Note that these apps are just a few examples, and the popularity of third-party apps for Twitter can change over time.

Wayne:  In specific regard to TweetCaster: it has been removed from the Playstore and access to the Twitter API has been cut-off.  What is the official reason for being removed from the Google Playstore?

I apologize for the confusion, it seems that TweetCaster app has been removed from the Google Playstore and no longer available for download. This could be due to various reasons. A few reasons: the developer discontinuing the app, or it not meeting the store’s guidelines. It’s possible that the app’s developer has chosen to focus on other projects. Or that the app was not able to adapt to changes in Twitter’s API. It is not available any more.

Wayne:  As a follow-up, according to TweetCaster, it is because of the ban on 3rd party apps that connect via the twitter API.

Yes, that is correct. The reason for the discontinuation of the app, as stated by the developer, is because of the changes to Twitter’s API and the limitations placed on third-party apps like TweetCaster. These limitations have greatly reduced the capabilities of third-party apps compared to the official Twitter app. The developer may have decided that it was no longer worth the effort to continue developing the app. They may have taken it down from the app store.

Wayne:  What 3rd party Twitter apps that are similar in function to TweetCaster are still available for download?

There are a few third-party Twitter clients that are still available for download, although they may have limited functionality compared to what was available with TweetCaster. Here are a few examples:

Keep in mind that these apps may have limited functionality compared to the official Twitter app. They may not have all the features available that TweetCaster had. They are also subject to the limitation of the Twitter AP. Note that functionality may change over time. It’s always good to check the app ratings and reviews before downloading.Wayne Viener is the CEO of Viener Consulting, Inc. (Viener4Gates) and leverages Twitter in his work with as he covers the Maryland Terrapins.