Monday, January 30, 2023
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Tweetbot is back down again

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Users were briefly able to sign into the app and browse through tweets. But now they can’t access Tweetbot at all.

Tweetbot is down again. The Twitter client briefly became available in the midst of an outage that locked users out of major third-party Twitter clients.

While users could sign in to Tweetbot and browse through tweets, some said they couldn’t post anything to Twitter through the service without getting an error message stating they’ve reached a “data limit.” But now users say they can’t sign in at all.

“And now dead again, along with some old unused API keys, which proves that this was intentional and we and others were specifically targeted,” Tweetbot co-creator Paul Haddad writes on Mastodon. “I wouldn’t have swapped out the keys in the first place if there was even a shred of communication.”

The client didn’t come back online because of anything that Twitter did. Haddad tells The Verge that they hadn’t heard anything from Twitter, so they “decided to start using new API keys and see if it fixes the problem.” This allowed Tweetbot to temporarily avoid any disruptions to the service, even if it put it in a semi-working state.

As pointed out by iOS developers Mysk, Tweetbot likely had issues when it came back online because it used different API keys that put significantly lower limits on its activity. “Twitter API restricts new apps to low limits,” Mysk explains. “All Tweetbot users now share a limit of 300 posts per 15 minutes.”

Things started breaking last Thursday when users noticed that they no longer had access to third-party Twitter apps, including Tweetbot, Twitterific, and the Android version of Fenix. Despite widespread confusion, Twitter and CEO Elon Musk have yet to acknowledge the outage publicly, nor have they reached out to developers to let them know what’s going on. Meanwhile, Twitterific and Fenix on Android are still suspended.

According to a report from The Information, Twitter may have disabled third-party apps purposefully. Internal messages viewed by the outlet reveal a senior software engineer saying that the outage is “intentional.” Another message reportedly says Twitter’s getting ready to issue statements to developers affected by the outage, although it’s unclear when that’ll be ready.

Update, 7:10PM ET: Updated to reflect that Tweetbot is now down again.

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