Twitter pissed off some people last week when it announced it would be making API changes that would affect third-party Twitter clients. After some backlash the company announced it would delay the changes, but they will come eventually. So which features in third-party clients would the Twitter API change break?
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Changing the API
The Twitter API change was originally scheduled for June 19, 2018, but it has been delayed for now. The developers behind apps like Twitterrific, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Talon joined forces to raise awareness about the issue.
Apps of a Feather breaks it down. The streaming API would be replaced with a new Account Activity API. This means that for third-party apps, two things would be affected:
- You wouldn’t get push notifications
- Timelines wouldn’t refresh automatically
There is no way for developers to fix these issues, and Twitter hasn’t provided a means to recreate these features. Right now the Account Activity API is in beta, but third-party developers haven’t been given access.
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Twitter has an ugly history with developers, and seems hell-bent on cutting them out. If you aren’t happy with this, you can tweet to @TwitterDev and use the hashtag #BreakingMyTwitter.
A member of Twitter development—Andy Piper—reached out to us to provide some clarification. He says that this API change isn’t new. A developer blog post by Twitter first announced the changes in April 2017. Mr. Piper also says that third-party clients have been given access, and there are no plans to maintain the legacy streaming infrastructure long term.