Quietly rolling out a change to the user interface, developers at Twitter have removed the text that indicates which third party application was used when posting a new tweet. Prior to the change, users would see the name of the third party tool, like Seesmic, posted next to the time elapsed since the tweet was published. Prior to the removal of this information on the Web version of Twitter, this change was made on the mobile version of Twitter and a spokesperson for Twitter told Venturebeat “This is part of our work to simplify tweets and emphasize the content being shared.“
When it comes to celebrity accounts, one downside to this alteration is that it will be more difficult for the average Twitter user to tell the difference between tweets that are original to the celebrity and tweets that have been generated by a team of third party, social media handlers. Prior to this change, one clear sign that a tweet probably didn’t originate directly from a popular figure was the notation of a third party application that typically didn’t appear anywhere else in the feed.
In addition, celebrities and other popular figures that sell tweets to advertisers simply don’t have to be involved in the posting process anymore if they choose. For instance, access to the account could be shared with an advertising firm and tweets could be posted from any third party tool without any loyal fans catching on. According to the Associated Press, celebrities can be paid $10,000 or more per tweet or Facebook status update.
This change also significantly reduces the amount of free advertising given to third party tools like HootSuite. This will ultimately decrease the amount of Twitter users that are exposed to these management tools in addition to making it extremely difficult for a new third party client to become popular. As of late, Twitter has received criticism from developers due to new limitations placed on the Twitter API. Some developers believe that user growth will be limited by the changes and will eventually cause the elimination of third-party clients.