Since Elon Musk took control of the company a few weeks ago, Twitter has undergone tremendous transformation. Tonight, it appears that something is wrong with the Twitter API as Tweetbot and several other third-party Twitter clients are down.
Many Twitter users noticed that third-party clients were returning error messages related to the Twitter API around 11 p.m. ET this evening. All third-party apps, including Twitterrific, Fenix, Talon, and numerous others for Android, iOS, and macOS are affected by this massive outage. The API downtime also affects Tweetbot, but thankfully Tweetdeck is unaffected.
Twitter has not yet provided an official explanation, so it is unclear whether this is a brief outage or a deliberate choice on their part.
But it does make sense that Twitter would be putting an end to third-party clients. Although Musk has made it apparent that this is a focus throughout his tenure thus far, most of these clients do not generate any ad income for the platform. Many Twitter users have noticed significant increases in the number of ads and frequency of adverts seen on the network. Just this week a story from The Information highlighted desperate tactics to keep ad buyers on board.
Additionally, Twitter recently mandated that iOS users view the “For You” tab by default rather than the “Following” tab, which displays the profiles they are actually following.
The fact that apps that use the API but are not full clients seem to be functioning would be a further indicator that Twitter made this choice on purpose. Only alternatives to the official Twitter apps need to be fixed.
At this moment, the specifics are still mostly unknown, but we’ll update our coverage as more details come to light.