Twitter has updated its developer agreement to explicitly prohibit third-party app makers from creating their own clients using the company's API.
On Thursday, Twitter updated its developer's agreement with a clause prohibiting app developers from making their own Twitter clients.
The change comes a few days after developers began reporting their apps no longer worked.
The "restrictions" section of Twitter's development agreement has been expanded to help "enforce its long-standing API rules," according to the company's development Twitter account. It noted that, as a result, some apps might not work.
Twitter is enforcing its long-standing API rules. That may result in some apps not working.— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) January 17, 2023
However, as Engadget points out, it does not align with the company's history. Third-party apps have been central to Twitter use for most of the social media platform's history.
Twitterific, for example, has been a crucial part of Twitter's history since the beginning. Twitterific had a native iOS app before Twitter did and is credited with coining the word "tweet."
As a result of the API restriction, developers have begun pulling their apps out of the App Store.
Today marks the end of an era. Sadly, we've been forced to pull Twitterrific from both the iOS and Mac App Stores.— Twitterrific (@Twitterrific) January 19, 2023
Twitter's unexplained revocation of our API access has left the app with no path forward. Please read our blog for more information https://t.co/UZSdmqZtMD
Restricting API access is another incident in a string of current controversies purportedly caused by Elon Musk acquiring the company in October 2022. This particular move is probably focused on preserving advertising revenue for the company, as third-party clients often filtered out sponsored posts and similar media.
In December, Twitter began blocking user links to other social platforms. That was rolled back after user protest, and it's not clear when or if that will begin again.