Twitter kills off some third-party app features

The social media site says it is cutting back on support for some third-party features in order to improve its own range of experiences.

Twitter has removed support for some of the social platform’s features in third-party apps so the site can focus on its own applications.

The social media giant had been planning the move for some time, having begun limiting access to new features for third-party developers in recent years.

The company’s senior director of data and enterprise solution, Rob Johnson, announced in a blog post that Twitter was ending access to some of the tools – known as APIs – used by apps including Tweetbot and Twitterrific to mimic parts of the Twitter experience.

Instead, Twitter says it wants to focus on its own native applications.

“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,” Johnson wrote in his post.

“As part of this, we’ve chosen to stop supporting some other experiences. We’ve removed support for Twitter for Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac, we’ve replaced our previous Twitter for Windows app with our Progressive Web App, and today we’re removing support for some outdated developer tools.”

He confirmed the changes would result in some apps behaving differently.

“This means that some Twitter-like apps will not be able to function the exact same way as before,” he said.

“For example, instead of tweets automatically streaming in like they once did in some third-party apps, you might need to pull to refresh like you do in Twitter-owned apps and sites. Several of the most popular apps have already made updates so that you can continue using them with minimal disruption.”

Twitter has been squeezing third-party developer features for some time, having initially planned this move for June but pushed it back after developer outcry.

Several new features introduced to Twitter in recent years also never made it to third-party availability, including Twitter Moments, Periscopes, Polls and Bookmarks.

However, Johnson has insisted that the social media site remains committed to its developer community.

“We know some of you don’t like this more focused approach. There are good reasons you love the various Twitter apps you have used over the years, and we’re grateful for the developers who build them,” he said.

“We’re still strongly committed to ongoing investment in our developer ecosystem. Our investments are focused on helping developers create fundamentally new and innovative ways to use Twitter. Also, we’re continuing to invest in TweetDeck, our desktop web client for professionals who need more advanced tools.”

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