View someone else's own Twitter timeline with cTwittLike

cTwittLike screenshot

cTwittLike is an app for iPhone and iPad that lets you view anyone's Twitter timeline. It's that concept we've all thought about once or twice but had no power to act on that's finally shaped into reality. The app works by allowing you to enter a username, then pulling the tweets of every account that person follows and pouring them all into one feed, simulating how the timeline looks when he or she logs in. cTwittLike is a universal app that requires iOS 8.0 or later and sells for US$0.99.

Don't get your hopes too high. This doesn't grant you access to another person's account to tweet with their username or favorite and retweet others as another identity. cTwittLike just lets you see tweets from accounts the one you specify is following. This is something you could do in theory just by visiting the profiles of accounts that someone follows, but the app saves time and effort by aggregating all of them together in one stream like Twitter's Home screen.

cTwittLike screenshot

cTwittLike is extremely basic. A single empty field draws you in to enter the username of the account you want to essentially simulate. Though it's basic, you may run into problems. I'm not sure if this is at the fault of the app or Twitter's API limitations, but if I guessed I'd say it's a mix of both. The app asks for permission to access your Twitter accounts, but it's not until I granted that permission that I started getting errors. I then had to turn this off in Settings and for some reason, that's when the cTwittLike started working.

I didn't actually think Twitter would let a service like this exist, especially given the past few years with Twitter really tightening up how developing can use its API. To my surprise, it works. I tried a few different Twitter accounts and they all pulled in tweets from the accounts they follow. The app streams new tweets in real time, but unfortunately it doesn't load anything that anyone already tweeted, so don't be surprised if when you type in a username you have a blank timeline for a while. If the username follows a lot of accounts, the timeline is more likely to populate a lot faster.

By now you're probably asking yourself, what about private accounts? Does cTwittLike reveal private tweets or let you view the timelines of private accounts? The answers are no and no, thankfully. Everyone's right to privacy is left completely in tact. Out of curiosity I tried out a private account I know of and received an error message in return. It was the most relieving error message I've ever received.

cTwittLike screenshot

cTwittLike doesn't seem to have any practical usage, but at the very least it's entertaining. It's interesting to see Twitter from a different perspective. It's not interactive whatsoever, so you can't tap through to see profiles or even decide to follow from your own account - two features that would definitely enhance the app - but if nothing else, cTwittLike is a novel idea. It's $0.99 for iOS.

Update: The developer of this app got in touch with me to point out that cTwittLike was previously free for a weekend, but is $0.99 regularly. Changes above in this article reflect that.