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Friday, June 21st, 2013, 12:30 am

Twitter’s Suicide Plan: Blocking Everything, Again

Twitter is going down the drain and it has itself to blame

Twitter

IMAGINE a company stupid enough to follow the trajectory of MySpace and the now-deceased Digg.com by its very own choice. Enter Twitter.

Twitter was a rapidly-growing site back in the days. It was getting links everywhere, just like Digg had gotten a lot of buttons and links. But then came the OAuth ‘revolution’ and Twitter shot many applications (digital vehicles that brought it traffic) right at the head. It wasn’t an accident. Twitter ended up breaking hooks and denying access by some applications that I was using until 2010, e.g. in IRC. What a colossal mistake. Twitter never quite recovered since then. Au contraire — the site has been declining little by little, especially in recent months. Rather than encourage developers to get involved, Twitter is doing it again — dampening third-party contributions — this time even more aggressively than before.

The news sites took little note of what Twitter had done. Twitter’s API idiocy not only broke crucial parts in 3 Web sites of mine but also in some clients’ sites. Thanks for the trouble, Twitter. You break things and leave us all to collect the pieces.

Twitter is making irrational decisions like killing off RSS, third-party developers, off-site links, etc. Are they on a suicide plan?

Twitter’s own widget, which is apparently what Twitter is trying to promote, is not even valid (X)HTML, so they’re encouraging people to put broken code inside their Web pages while blocking the competition.

Twitter’s future, I would guess, is similar to that of MySpace and Digg.com. The US Library of Congress is saving all the contents, so one day when Twitter.com goes offline we might still remember that old site which committed suicide, taking down with it all of our data, more or less like identi.ca.

2 Responses to “Twitter’s Suicide Plan: Blocking Everything, Again”

  1. Michael Amadio Says:

    Hey Schestowitz
    Yep, a major pain. Twitter’s API change broke lots of plugins for lots of web software including WordPress. I can’t make sense of such a decision.
    Cheers

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    I guess they didn’t think this through and yes, WordPress is affected also. To quote what I wrote to a client:

    Hi,

    I am familiar with this problem. It is affecting many Web sites right now (maybe a million or more). Twitter changed its APIs very recently, essentially ‘breaking’ a lot of software that connects to Twitter for data updates. Several sites of mine are affected by this and desktop applications too, so rest assured it’s a problem shared by many.

    I will look into software updates that may work around the changes or use the new API. If no software updates are available yet, we may have to consider other software which syndicates from Twitter (if any exists). This is in essence a third-party issue, caused due to Twitter’s decision to cut off access to many developers and their applications, eliminating RSS in the process, too.

    I will investigate this further and let you know my suggestions.

    Hi,

    I have done some further research on this. I can confirm that Twitter is blocking many third-party tools which extract data from one’s Twitter account and display it in one’s site. Tools which are included or added to Joomla, Drupal, WordPress etc. are rendered broken until or unless an update is issued. In the mean time, Twitter is trying to promote its own widget. You can see if and configure it at

    https://twitter.com/settings/widgets

    while you are logged in as yourself. If you like this widget layout (there is a preview therein), we can work on integrating it with your site.

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