Last Updated on August 13, 2018
I use Twitter heavily for work and personal reasons. It’s been a service I turn to for news, socializing, brainstorming, and promoting services (including mine). That all will change on Thursday.
One of the changes being pushed through is the removal of the “streaming API.” Most Twitter users don’t use 3rd party apps and stick to the default apps. One of the greatest features of 3rd party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific is streaming timeline.
It’s been in place for years and allowed Tweetbot etc to cater to “power users” like me who use something like an iPad to watch Twitter stream by in real time. There is no streaming in the default app, so you have to constantly refresh your timeline. That’s fine if you’re just dipping in or looking for something specific (or the Moments feature that Twitter is always pushing on me), but I think of Twitter as a river that is constantly flowing.
I enjoy seeing the nonstop flow over on the side of the screen on my iPad and it’s something I’ve done for years. As I’ve said before, Twitter has paid our mortgage a number of times over the years because I caught a tweet out of the corner of my eye and made a quick action on it. Don’t @ me about being a distracted ADHD-riddled Gen Xer. I know. But it works for me.
There is still Tweetdeck that will offer streaming tweets (for now) but that doesn’t work on iPads or iPhones or Android devices. Before I became so iPad centric, I used Tweetdeck for years on its own monitor. Yes, I’m that guy. But again, it worked for me.
I’ve been following the developer discussions closely over the last few months, and I’m incredibly sad that it’s come to this point and not quite sure why Twitter continues to tighten the noose around developers and its most devoted users that it could easily tap into if it cared about things like, oh… say, monetizing beyond advertising.
So starting on Thursday I guess I’ll be using the default Twitter app on my iPad a great deal more. That means I’ll definitely be using the service less. Thanks, Twitter.
Core functionality like access to your timeline and the ability to post tweets will remain, but several basic features will be limited or removed. Alerts for mentions and direct messages in third-party apps are expected to be delayed, and timeline streaming which populates your timeline with new tweets in real time is expected to go away.