Twitter Blocks Tumblr
August 23, 2012

Twitter Strikes Again, This Time It’s Tumblr

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Twitter is continuing its slow, constrictor like coil around its partners, slowly choking out third-party offerings and some implementations of their API.

First, Twitter shut out LinkedIn, removing the users´ ability to publish Tweets on the professional networking site. Interestingly enough, LinkedIn users could still Tweet from LinkedIn, but couldn´t post LinkedIn statuses from Twitter.

A few weeks later, Twitter struck out towards Instagram, cutting off the apps ability to find other friends who use Instagram on Twitter.

Each of these changes and actions were foretold in a very vague and passive-aggressive blog post by Michael Sippey over at Twitter.

According to this June posting, developers “should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”

Therefore, Twitter has been “thoroughly” enforcing their new Developer Rules of the Road with their partners. Unfortunately, “enforcing” the “Rules of the Road” means turning off services and shutting out developers once considered partners.

The latest service to face the wrath of the new social service-turned-media provider is popular blogging service Tumblr.

Yesterday, Tumblr announced that they, too, had been blocked from using Twitter´s API to allow friends to find one another through the microblogging service.

"To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users' ability to 'Find Twitter Friends' on Tumblr," said a Tumblr spokesperson in a statement.

"Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting.”

"Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter's first partners. While we're delighted by the response to our integrations with Facebook and Gmail, we are truly disappointed by Twitter's decision."

While Twitter´s partial shunning of Instagram was mostly seen as a way to block out Facebook from using some of their APIs, this new action against Tumblr is further confirmation that Twitter is indeed bound and determined to strike out on their own, only working with those partners they feel worthy.

In Twitter´s most recent blog post concerning their new direction, they said they now require any developer who needs a large amount of user tokens (or calls to the API) to work with them directly, meaning any large Twitter service will now be at the mercy of Twitter and could be limited in what they want to do. Elsewhere in the post.

Michael Sippey even draws a handy graph, detailing the ways in which Twitter “buckets” those services which make calls to the Twitter API. According to the post, Twitter prefers those developers whose offerings exist within the intersections between Engagement & Business, Business & Analytics, and Analytics & Consumer.

Those developers whose offerings exist between the Engagement & Consumer intersections (or, other Twitter clients) are in Twitter´s crosshairs and could be shut down. In looking at this graph, it´s hard to determine exactly where the feature to call into Twitter´s API to find friends on other services lie, but apparently, Twitter does not approve of this function.

According to The Next Web, the next application to hear Twitter´s death knell will be Flipboard. Flipboard currently uses Twitter´s API to cull together articles from a user´s feed and place them in one, single, easy to read format.