Updated 4:57 PM ET — Since this news broke, Twitter's developer account took to the social network with the following message: "Last year we announced our plan to retire Site Streams & User Streams, and replace them with the Account Activity API (currently in beta). We are delaying the scheduled June 19th deprecation date." In other words, third-party clients and apps are safe for the time being. It's unclear at the moment when the Account Activity API will go live, but Twitter does note it'll give 90-days notice before streaming services are officially shut off.
For years, third-party Twitter clients have offered alternative ways to access the popular social network for users that weren't fans of Twitter's official apps. These clients have been hugely popular, particularly in the Android space, but Twitter's going to essentially break each and every one after June 19, 2018.
After that date, Twitter will be eliminating its "streaming services." When this happens, push notifications will no longer work and timelines won't automatically refresh.
Streaming services are being replaced by the new Account Activity API, and while this could be used as a way to keep notifications working as is, the possibility of this happening is looking rather weak. Twitter still hasn't given third-party developers access to the API, and while the free version of it allows for push notifications to work for 35 accounts, pricing details for the Enterprise model that supports an unlimited number of users have yet to be announced.
Also, while the Account Activity API could keep push notifications working, there's currently no way for third-party developers to keep automatic timeline refreshes in place.
Twitter's never been open to developers creating third-party clients that are often better than its own apps, and for years its tried to combat this with a token system (a system that recently killed one of the best Android Twitter apps ever made).
The folks behind Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Twitterrific have banded together to raise awareness of this situation, and it's suggesting that users do any of these four things to try and protest the changes:
- Ask @TwitterDev to correct this situation
- Share your feelings using #BreakingMyTwitter
- Talk about it on your podcast or blog
- Spread the word with links to this website.
As a long-time fan of apps like Flamingo, Fenix, and Talon, this news is aggravating, to say the least. Twitter's Android app has gotten considerably better over the years, but there are still a lot of things that other apps do much better. By removing push notifications and automatic timeline refreshes, these apps will be impossible to use as a default client for a lot of users.
What's your take on all this?