Twitter has announced that it will delay its controversial API changes until August 16, providing developers of third-party twitter clients with more time to update their apps. A coalition of Twitter developers raised a public protest against the upcoming changes last month, noting that even thought Twitter had announced a new Account Activity API in April 2017, the company had yet to actually make the new API available to developers even a year later, despite a looming shutdown of the legacy APIs on June 19, 2018. Today, Twitter announced the general availability of the new Account Activity API that developers have been waiting for, while also extending the deadline to allow developers to actually take advantage of it, noting that “Site Streams, User Streams, and legacy Direct Message endpoints, originally slated for retirement on June 19th 2018, will be deprecated on Wednesday August 16, 2018 which provides 3 months from today’s release of the Account Activity API for migration.”
These legacy APIs have been critical for supporting features such as push notifications and automatic timeline refresh in third-party Twitter apps such as Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Twitterrific, and it’s still unclear whether Twitter’s new Account Activity API will be a full replacement. Twitter notes that they’ve built a migration guide to assist in the transition from Site Streams and User Streams to the new Account Activity API, however the new API doesn’t provide streaming connection capability or home timeline data, as Twitter notes that those features are used only “by a small amount of developers (roughly 1% of monthly active apps)” and it therefore has no plans to add these capabilities to the Account Activity API or create a new streaming service. As Tapbots notes on its Tweebot 3 page, this likely means that features such as notifications for Likes/Retweets won’t be available, and notifications for Tweets, Mentions, Quotes, DMs, and Follows would be delayed for a minute or two.
Unfortunately, as TechCrunch reports, the change to the new API also carries costs that may be too much for many third-party Twitter developers to bear, with the top tier paid premium plan — which allows for up to 250 users — priced at $2,899/month. Developers will of course need to subscribe to Twitter’s enterprise plan, for which they will have to contact Twitter directly to receive pricing details, although some developers have already indicated that the new model may not be financially sustainable.