My Twitter Wind-Down

2 minute read

Last Friday Twitter disabled the API keys of the major Twitter clients, including Tweetbot, my client of choice, with no notice, and no communication with the app developers or their customers.

There was some uncertainty about whether this was deliberate or not but the silence from Twitter was followed by the Tweetbot developers switching to an alternative API key which was then also disabled so the presumption is that this was intended. Presumably the idea is to ‘encourage’ people to use the Twitter website or official apps.

I have used Twitter clients for most of my 14+ years on Twitter and they have the advantages or keeping your timeline in order, not showing adverts and not promoting tweets from random strangers. The official apps are horrible and I find all of the negativity and conflict on Twitter which they seem to actively promote terribly disheartening.

When I started using Mastodon more back in October last year I half-decided to mainly use Twitter in a form of read-only mode… I’d use it to see what friends and organisations I follow are doing but not actively post there unless I wanted to retweet or quote-tweet something. That had been working well and I had unfollowed a lot of people who had set up Mastodon accounts so the volume of new posts I would see was pretty minimal. Now that I am even less inclined to keep an eye on Twitter I am going to reduce the number of accounts I follow even further and I do not think it will be too long before Twitter is no longer something I use unless I really need to.

Twitter has generally been a wonderful experience for me and since I joined in 2008 when I was going to Apple’s developer conference and wanted a way to keep in touch with other attendees. I have met some wonderful people and formed many lasting friendships. I have not been involved in too many arguments or conflicts and discovering new products, services, companies and ideas has been invaluable. The sadness with it all falling apart for me is however tempered by an increasing conviction that Mastodon will slowly fill the void and I hope that, much like Twitter in the early years, companies and organisations will discover it and sign up and start to use it more and more.

Finally, because I’m essentially ‘retiring’ from Twitter I am removing the link to my account from my blog.