Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

RIP Twitter

I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

In March, Ryan Sarver, Platform Lead at Twitter speaking with MG Siegler on Techcrunch in Twitter Drops The Ecosystem Hammer: Don’t Try To Compete With Us On Clients, Focus On Data And Verticals:

We need to move to a less fragmented world, where every user can experience Twitter in a consistent way.

Or, in other words, we want everyone to use the Twitter web interface or Twitter’s own apps, not third party clients [1].

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ‘E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

Yesterday, Michael Sippey writing in the Twitter blog in Changes coming in Version 1.1 of the Twitter API dropped the thermonuclear bomb:

...you will need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens.

”Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue.”

In short, any new third party clients may only have a maximum of 100,000 users (assuming each has only 1 Twitter account) and no more, severely limiting their growth and essentially making it uneconomic to create a third party Twitter client. The existing, bigger products, like my favorites Twitterrific and Tweetbot will be given higher caps, 200% of what they have now, then they are done too.

”He’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’!”

I cannot imagine third party developers or any of their millions of clients are happy about that. Heck, if I was a Twitter client developer, I’d give up and do something else, which I’m sure will make my users even more unhappy.

”Probably pining for the fjords.”

And unhappy developers and unhappy clients leave platforms. Hence, for Twitter, the end is nigh.

”This bird wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!”

My Take

Look, I love Twitter, it’s the best real-time feed of information I have access to. I even show the latest tweets on my personal web site.

But the reason I glance at it so much, the reason I got hooked on it in the first place, was the third party application ecosystem. Without Twitterrific on the Mac, there’s no way I would have gone beyond the first few days of Twitter. Without Tweetbot on the iPhone and iPad, there’s no way I’d look at it when away from my desk. I almost never use their web site, and I never use their crappy apps [2].

In short, the third party application ecosystem made Twitter, and they just killed it.

It’s not a Monty Python sketch, it’s real!

Fortunately, a new alternative is brewing, called app.net. It exists because Twitter’s seppuku was expected. App.net understands that the third party ecosystem is what makes short message services like Twitter so great, and so its primary goal is to provide the platform to do just that.

I’ll stay on Twitter until it dies, or all those that I follow have moved to app.net. But I think that day will come much sooner once the new Twitter rules come in to play.

Nice plumage.

I’m @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Follow me and let me know what you think.

[1] Twitter’s own apps are woefully out of date.
[2] When Loren Brichter worked there, their Tweetie app was excellent, but that died years ago.

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