After initially delaying major API changes, Twitter appears determined to flip the switch next week and break how third-party apps access the service. Twitter clients including Tweetbot and Twitterrific are already bracing for impact with useful features expected to go away.
Core functionality like access to your timeline and the ability to post tweets will remain, but several basic features will be limited or removed. Alerts for mentions and direct messages in third-party apps are expected to be delayed, and timeline streaming which populates your timeline with new tweets in real time is expected to go away.
Twitter supports timeline streaming on the Mac through its web-based TweetDeck desktop client, but it discontinued its native app which also supported timeline streaming. Twitter’s iOS apps don’t support timeline streaming, and the feature in other iOS apps is expected to stop working.
That means relying on TweetDeck on the Mac for streaming and getting used to pull-to-refresh on the iPhone and iPad — even when Twitter is viewed in Split Screen.
Twitterrific has already removed push notifications and streaming from its apps for new customers, and existing customers will see the features stop working next week:
As of this writing, both push notifications and live streaming of tweets will continue to function at least into August, 2018. Installing today’s update means you’ll lose Twitterrific’s Watch app, but as long as you’ve purchased them in the past, the Today view and push notifications will continue to work until the cut off. New customers will not be able to unlock these features going forward as we did not feel it was fair to continue charging for a service that we know is ending.
Tweetbot developers have been less vocal about the upcoming changes, but Tapbots includes this notice on their website:
Is Twitter shutting down 3rd Party apps soon?
No. On August 16th Twitter will be removing the streaming API used by Tweetbot and other 3rd party clients. They have a replacement API with most of the same features and we are trying to get access to it. Even if we can’t get access to this new API, the majority of features in Tweetbot will still work. In the worst case scenario we won’t be able show notifications for Likes/Retweets and notifications for Tweets, Mentions, DMs & Follows would be delayed for 1-2 minutes. You’ll still be able to read your timeline, mentions, DMs and post Tweets just like you do today.
Tapbots Support is also telling users that timeline streaming will go away next week:
This is the closest we’re getting to an official explanation of what will happen to notifications and streaming. https://t.co/WQQdefN1JZ
— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) August 7, 2018
Twitter is offering a new API that provides similar behavior at a cost, but it looks like the enterprise pricing won’t be viable for our favorite Twitter clients on iOS and the Mac. If Twitter stays course, we’ll see the real impact of this change next Thursday on August 16 — enjoy the third-party apps as we know them while they last.