Twitter has removed the mention of clients from Tweets. You might have noticed while reading an individual tweet, it was easy to note which client was used to send that particular tweet. This was a great way for Twitter users to find and adopt new Twitter mobile apps and desktop clients. This latest move confirms my view that Twitter is systematically killing 3rd party apps.
For instance below is the image of tweet I sent a few months ago from TweetDeck.
Now under new Twitter guidelines, the client name will not show up with individual tweets. This is not a isolated incident, Twitter has also introduced new API guidelines which has restricted 3rd party apps to only having 100,000 users at a time. That severely restricts 3rd party clients from monetizing their products and effectively meaning the death of it.
Twitter’s change of heart towards 3rd party clients
Twitter for me was about being a open ended platform. Despite Facebook being the big fish in the social pond, Twitter has carved out a unique identity. That unique identity was a lot due to third-party clients and mobile apps that were developed for Twitter.
These third party apps made retweeting and organizing Twitter accounts we followed into lists very easy. Even Twitter adopted the retweet feature and creating lists on its own website and mobile apps.
But as Twitter grew into several hundred millions of users, it was still not making enough money. Atleast not as much as a company with that sort of brand name and presence should. This is when Twitter started to get defensive about 3rd party apps. First they bought TweetDeck, a hugely popular desktop client for using Twiter. It was probably bought to make sure TweetDeck did get acquired by another company. Today TweetDeck is more or less the official desktop client app for the Windows platform.
Twitter can not be blamed entirely
Even though, Twitter does look like a villain, feeding of 3rd party developers for so long and now casting them aside, it cannot be entirely blamed. Twitter makes hardly a great deal of money. A website like Twitter takes a lot of money to keep it running. It cannot allow 3rd party apps to thrive and make money off Twitter, while it struggles to do the same. By making Twitter not lucrative for 3rd party apps, it is diverting all money making opportunities towards itself.
Do you think Twitter’s idea of killing off 3rd party apps will affect it badly in the long run? Or will it finally give Twitter more control over its own platform for the better? Do drop in your comments.