Some third-party Twitter clients such as Twitterific and Tweetbot appear to be experiencing an outage, though the cause is currently unclear. Developers haven’t received any communication from the company about whether the issue is caused by a bug or something else, according to a Mastodon post from Paul Haddad, one of Tweetbot’s creators.
There’s been speculation from Twitter users and some news outlets that this is a move from Twitter to shut down third-party clients altogether. However, the outage may not be universal. Some apps, like Fenix 2 or Albatross, appear to be working for me and some others, though I have seen other users report problems with Fenix. The first-party Twitter app is also still functional.
Third-party apps rely on Twitter’s API to get data from the service, a point that’s been contentious in the past as the company went through a period where it neglected tools for outside developers. That appeared to be turning around before Elon Musk bought the company, though where he stands on alternative Twitter apps isn’t clear; he doesn’t appear to have said much positive or negative about them.
It’s hard to tell whether the third-party client outage is due to the API. Attempting certain calls from my individual Twitter developer account seemed to work, while Twitter’s own API explorer tool is currently broken. Many of the error messages seem by users refer to issues with authentication.
At time of writing, there haven’t been any tweets about the apparent outage, either from the official Twitter account, the Twitter Support account, or Elon Musk. The company doesn’t have a communications department that we could ask about the issue directly, so we’ll keep an eye out for any developments.