The first victims of Twitter's slow takeover of its own service

By Rebecca Greenfield

August 28, 2012

Twitter has now made it absolutely clear that developers should stop even trying to comply with its new API rules because the social media site wants to own everything that happens on it. After last week's awkward kind-of break-up with Tumblr and Instagram, Twitter has stopped showing which third-party client a tweet came from on its site. What looks like a small design change, eliminating "via wherever" from the bottom of a tweet, sends a loud and clear message to developers: Twitter wants to own Twitter. This was "the only real way developers" could market their apps, Loic Le Mur, the founder of LeWeb and Seesmic (one of the affected third-party Twitter clients), explained on Twitter. But, beyond that, it shows Twitter's commitment to the total scrubbing of third party apps -- something MacWorld editorial director Jason Snell predicts will get worse. "You think Twitter hiding the 'posted by' status is bad? Wait until all tweets by third-party clients are hidden by default! ;-)," he tweeted following the news

This is all part of Twitter's plan to get its users to use Twitter-things, rather than other-things, which all started when it updated its API rules a few weeks ago. Back then, developers grumbled about the changes, but just now we are starting to see that the social network meant it in a very thorough way. When first announced these rules sounded more like an inconvenience than a decree. "It's going to require energy and it's not ideal," Alex Benzer, CEO of SocialShare, told ReadWriteWeb's Adam Popescu. "We're going to have to register for an API key which isn't that big of a deal, but we're going to have to make it work." But, even the companies that were optimistic about Twitter's intentions have started feeling the pain. Tapbots, for example, which wrote a post called DON'T PANIC, has had to pull one of its Tweetbots because it couldn't reach an agreement with Twitter. "We’ve been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around this limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with a solution that was acceptable to them. Because of this we’ve decided its best for us to pull the alpha," a new post explains on the site. Again, it's small, but it shows Twitter's obstinance. 

Read more at The Atlantic Wire.


By Rebecca Greenfield

August 28, 2012

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