Twitter recently introduced its latest upgrade to its API, and developers need to know what this latest change has brought them.

Essentially, the new API changes have produced new policies for third-party Twitter clients that will impede their performance, and these changes include the prevention of automatic streaming to timelines, stops automatic timeline refreshing, and severely limits push notifications.

Apart from these changes, mention notifications and direct messages are delayed by several minutes, while it also comes without notifications for likes, retweets, quotes, and follows.

Another, perhaps even more frustrating addition is the new fee, where the developer charge is now $2,899/month to support up to 250 user accounts. That figure translates to $11.60 per account, and that’s a lot of money for anyone that is not a billion dollar corporation.

So, what does all this do for us?

  • It limits the creation of new third-party clients that now face more obstacles than ever before.
  • It increases the chance of some clients not upgrading at all and possibly closing down.
  • It raises the costs of existing third-party apps and makes them think about life on the internet as a viable income source
  • It lowers the number of upgrades as well as new high-quality 3rd party apps to be expected in the future


What is a Twitter Client?

A Twitter client is a 3rd party app that uses Twitter customers as its source of traffic and creates an automated environment that is meant to ease the management of Twitter features for the more active Twitter users. As such, Twitters API is the only tool that Twitter client app developers can use, and any change in the API has a direct and immediate effect on their performance and future.

What is Twitter API

The Twitter API is a tool that gives developers access to specific functions in Twitter that would not be accessible without the tool. These features include access to notifications, direct messages, and timeline updates, as well as more.

To put it bluntly, a Twitter App can be developed that would outperform Twitter, and while it cannot replace Twitter, it can steal a lot of clients from directly interfacing with the Twitter app and going through the internet with a Twitter 3rd party client. This is translated into traffic and money.

For some individuals and companies that rely on Twitter as part of their marketing and PR campaigns, and as an integral part of their social media mix, this means that using a 3rd party app is essential to automate their daily activated leading to a streamlined and optimized Twitter activity.

According to Twitters’ Senior Director of Data Enterprise Solutions Rob Johnson, only a handful of developers are using the old legacy API’s as such; the recent changes will have an effect on a few, the main effects will be felt by all.

What Does This Mean for Twitter Clients?

The “devastating” news that Twitter unleashed on the 3rd party world is yet to be understood in depth. However, based on current responses, the future looks bleak for Twitter users and Twitter 3rd party clients.

The choice of working with the Twitter app or a possibly defunct 3rd party client will give nightmares to the heavy Twitter users, and I honestly don’t know what will happen. I can definitely state that most of the Twitter users, the large majority that doesn’t use a 3rd party client, well, as they don’t use a client, they won’t feel the difference.

However, for the few that do use clients, and the few are numbered in the millions, the future looks bleak. There are some concessions, for instances, Twitterrific suggests that their users active both apps, the original Twitter for notifications and their app for everything else. Now to be bold, I do this anyway, I always have. I retain a copy of the original Twitter and use a client for automation; I never relied on a client for notifications.

The Bottom Line

I stand by Twitters decision to defend itself. However I also question Twitter’s business approach. After all, if you see so many 3rd party clients where some are exceptionally successful and are stealing users from your app, learn from the 3rd party apps and create a similar environment. Learn from Microsoft, Apple and Google, don’t let the competition maintain its edge, create a solution that will provide a perfect user experience, removing the need for a 3rd party client.

Take a look at Instagram; they recently introduced IGTV, which is a direct competitor to YouTube, where users get to make and share any length video they like.

The bottom, bottom line…Twitter is not invincible, along comes an app that gives the user a better and more comprehensive solution and Twitter could end up becoming a Dodo.