Twitter executing on 2012 vision

I’ll have more to say tomorrow specifically about the technical side of Twitter’s streaming API, but for now I want to highlight where this all started. In August 2012, Twitter posted to their blog about upcoming changes to their API. This was the post with the infamous 4-quadrant chart showing which third-party apps Twitter wanted to encourage, and which apps (in the upper-right quadrant) they didn’t want third-party developers to work on anymore.

From the post:

In the upper right-hand quadrant are services that enable users to interact with Tweets, like the Tweet curation service Storify or the Tweet discovery site

Although it wasn’t clear in the blog post, Twitter later clarified that Storify and Favstar were fine. Nevertheless, Storify announced last year that the service would be shutting down… tomorrow, actually. Favstar is shutting down next month.

The post from Twitter continues:

That upper-right quadrant also includes, of course, “traditional” Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Echofon. Nearly eighteen months ago, we gave developers guidance that they should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” And to reiterate what I wrote in my last post, that guidance continues to apply today.

It has taken nearly 6 years, but it feels like today’s API changes finally wrap up the work that started in 2012. The apps that are possible with the new Account Activity API are exactly the apps that were encouraged in those other quadrants. The pricing makes no sense because it wasn’t designed for traditional Twitter apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot.

Two months after that post from Twitter, I quit the platform and stopped posting to @manton in protest. I only wish I had started working on immediately in 2012.

Manton Reece @manton