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Tweetbot falls victim to Twitter's incoming developer changes

The app has lost many of its most popular features.
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simonmayer via Getty Images

We've known for a long time that Twitter's third-party apps would bear the brunt of the platform's API revamp, and even though those changes aren't due to come into effect until tomorrow, they're already causing trouble. Today's update to Tweetbot for iOS has hastened many of the issues developer Tapbots previously feared. Automatic timeline refreshing is now disabled, so no more real-time updates. Its Apple Watch app is gone, and push notifications for mentions and DMs will be delayed by one or two minutes, while push notifications for likes, follows and quotes has disappeared completely.

Tapbots says it's working on reinstating some of the lost features, but adds that the situation is "totally out of [its] control" because "Twitter has chosen not to provide alternatives to these interfaces." Twitter announced the changes last year, and said that by replacing its site streams, user streams and direct message endpoints with a new account activity API, it hoped to tighten control over the way its services are used by third-party sites.

Outcry from third-party developers meant Twitter pushed back the original switch date from June 19 to August 16, but for many the length of the migration period was largely irrelevant -- Twitter hasn't given them useful access to the new API, and until it does (and it's not announced any plans to), apps like Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Talons and Tweetings will be caught on the back foot. Some have already gone under entirely, with Favstar going offline in June as a result of the changes.

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