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Twitterrific shuts down after being blocked by Twitter

The maker of Twitterrific, a third-party Twitter app for macOS and iOS that launched in 2007 and came to the iPhone before Twitter itself, has been left with no choice but to close it down.

In a message posted on its website on Thursday, The Iconfactory, Twitterrific’s developer, said: “We are sorry to say that the app’s sudden and undignified demise is due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly capricious Twitter — a Twitter that we no longer recognize as trustworthy nor want to work with any longer.”

The decision to close Twitterrific comes a week after Twitter started preventing third-party Twitter clients — Twitterrific, Tweetbot, and Echofon among them — from accessing its API, leaving users unable to log in to the apps.

Twitter stayed silent on the issue for days, but earlier this week tweeted that it was “enforcing its long-standing API rules,” a change that it said “may result in some apps not working.” The developer agreement on Twitter’s website appeared to make no mention of such rules, but on Thursday
Twitter added a new section saying that developers must not “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.”

It’s not clear what was behind the move, but many suspect new owner Elon Musk was unhappy that the apps didn’t carry Twitter’s ads, denting the company’s bottom line. Twitter hopes that those using the third-party apps will now move to the official app.

In its message, The Iconfactory said that since Twitterrific’s launch for desktop in 2007 — a year after Twitter’s arrival — Twitterrific “helped define the shape of the Twitter experience. It was the first desktop client, the first mobile client, one of the very first apps in the App Store, an Apple Design award winner, and it even helped redefine the word ‘tweet’ in the dictionary.”

It also pointed out that Ollie, Twitterrific’s bluebird mascot, “was so popular that it even prompted Twitter itself to later adopt a bluebird logo of their very own. Our little app made a big dent on the world!”

The company, which has offices in North Carolina and Sweden, thanked the “generous and loyal support of … our wonderful customers and fans. Your financial support may have paid the bills, but your spiritual support enriched our souls, and for that we can never thank you enough. You changed our lives forever.”

It confirmed that Twitterrific for iOS and macOS have now been removed from both App Stores, adding that anyone who had a subscription on iOS will see it automatically canceled by the App Store.

With its business damaged by Twitter’s surprise move to block third-party clients, The Iconfactory asked subscribers “to please consider not requesting a refund from Apple,” saying that the loss of revenue from Twitterrific is “already going to hurt our business significantly, and any refunds will come directly out of our pockets — not Twitter’s and not Apple’s. To put it simply, thousands of refunds would be devastating to a small company like ours.”

If you feel like supporting The Iconfactory, be sure to check out its other apps.

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