Twitter acquired Tweetie in April 2010. Prior to that acquisition, the only native Twitter apps available were developed by third-parties. And now, they are explicitly prohibited by Twitter’s API policies.
Twitterrific was the first mobile Twitter app — originally developed during the jailbreak days before the App Store even existed.
It’s sad that it happened like this, but honestly, I’m not sure if the backlash would have been much different if Twitter chose a different path. If it was announced ahead of time, if access required a Twitter Blue subscription, if ads were introduced to the API feeds, or what have you.
There’s a group of users that exclusively interacted with Twitter through third-party apps and I can’t imagine any scenario where changes wouldn’t have resulted in a backlash and a very high attrition rate. I don’t agree with it, but I can see how someone at Twitter could come to the conclusion that it would be better to just cross their fingers and do it quietly.
The silver lining in this, though, is that talented developers that have spent years in an adversarial relationship with their API maintainers can move on to build bigger and better things. The folks at Tapbots are already well on their way to launching Ivory and hopefully Iconfactory will focus this newfound development time toward something neat as well.
➝ Source: blog.iconfactory.com