Twitter begins enforcing revised API rules, breaking functionality of third-party apps

Twitterrific, Tweetbot, and further third-party Twitter apps have found themselves under fire as Twitter targets them under its revised API rules.


Third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific have been used to operate and interact with Twitter for years, but a revision to the social media platform’s API rules may put a stop to that. Twitter previously signaled that it would begin enforcing these “long-standing API rules” in recent tweets, and now not only has a revision been published on Twitter’s API regulations page, but third-party app functionality has suffered as the company cracks down.

Twitter shared its intentions to enforce API rules in a tweet earlier this week, but a revision to the API rules was published on Twitter’s website on January 19, 2023. The major change in the revision was an added clause to the Restrictions section, which now includes banning the “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.” This change was the only revision to the rules that has been observed so far.

Twitter Tweet regarding API rules enforcement.
Twitter recently tweeted that it would begin enforcing API rules in a way that could break third-party apps earlier in the week.
Source: Twitter

Unfortunately, because of the revised API rules and Twitter’s efforts to enforce them, third-party apps have already stopped functioning. Twitterrific was among the third-party apps that have been utilized by many Twitter users for years, have preceded the first-party Twitter iOS app itself. Tweetbot and Tweetdeck users also reported broken functionality. Now it seems as though the revised API rules may be in place to end functionality for these apps permanently.

This is the latest in a long line of chaotic moves by Twitter under Elon Musk’s leadership. Musk previously used claims of doxing to ban accounts such as ElonJet, which he personally shared dislike for numerous times before the ban. Meanwhile, the company’s office spaces in San Francisco and Singapore have run into a number of issues regarding non-payment on rent. Earlier this week, Twitter hosted an auction of office supplies, break room appliances, and various memorabilia to try to recoup Elon Musk’s losses in buying the company.

That said, apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific worked to make browsing Twitter a more enjoyable or simply functional experience. As the revised API guidelines threaten these apps, it may be getting even harder to engage with Twitter in a reasonable manner. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates and details as they become available.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      January 19, 2023 2:01 PM

      Third party systems officially banned on Twitter

      • reply
        January 19, 2023 2:04 PM

        Urg! I still haven't logged in to my Twitter in protest of the Tweetbot ban.

        Following breaking news as been hard to say the least.
        I'm not sure enough people are using mastodon to make the switch.

      • reply
        January 19, 2023 2:09 PM

        Hardly surprising. I’m more surprised it took this long once Elon took over.

      • reply
        January 19, 2023 2:10 PM

        I can't believe they ever allowed this as this completely bypasses ad revenue.

        • reply
          January 19, 2023 2:22 PM

          I would think Jack Dorsey's Twitter probably eventually planned to ban this but it was going to be slow walked and explained in terms of "we need the money more than we need growth"

        • reply
          January 19, 2023 2:27 PM

          IIRC well before Elon bought the company they had already cut off any new API users like that and were just keeping those who were already established.

        • reply
          January 19, 2023 2:30 PM

          Twitter gained a lot of users and goodwill thanks to those native mobile clients, even the Twitter official iOS app was originally a 3rd party client.

        • reply
          January 19, 2023 3:48 PM

          Hell, Twitter didn’t even have an official app for years. It was the website and third party apps. The official app was originally derived from one they bought.

          Twitter’s original business model was: get bought by someone bigger, let it be their problem. Obviously that changed over the years as they became a public company but now Elon is that someone bigger and this is now his problem.

        • reply
          January 20, 2023 7:03 AM

          Shacknews is ahead of the curve.

      • reply
        January 19, 2023 2:31 PM

        Sucks. I liked tweetbot but also just not using Twitter at all has been fine

      • reply
        January 19, 2023 2:33 PM

        Tapbots has an iOS Mastodon client now, it’s a work in progress but it’s probably go0d already

        • reply
          January 19, 2023 2:34 PM

          I thought it was already out, my mistake

      • reply
        January 19, 2023 2:33 PM

        I hate this new "For You" thing they're doing. I open up Twitter and get assaulted by a bunch of nonsense from people who are way too online.

        • reply
          January 19, 2023 2:34 PM

          You can swipe to go the same sorted by date timeline.

          If they remove the normal timeline I’ll bail

          • reply
            January 19, 2023 2:37 PM

            I know, but it never remembers my position. So each time I load up and get something inane from a gif spam account someone I follow happens to follow.

    • reply
      January 19, 2023 3:10 PM

      Article note -- Tweetdeck is not broken because it's owned by Twitter now. I do wonder what companies that used apps like Hootsuite to manage their brands on twitter are going to do. Seems like Twitter is again shooting themselves in the foot.

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