David Emery Online

Hi there, I’m David. This is my website. I work in music for Apple. You can find out a bit more about me here. On occasion I’ve been known to write a thing or two. Please drop me a line and say hello. Views mine not my employers.

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In Memory Of Tweetbot

23 January 2023

On January 12th, 2023, without warning, Elon Musk ordered his employees at Twitter to suspend access to 3rd party clients which instantly locked out hundreds of thousands of users from accessing Twitter from their favorite clients. We’ve invested over 10 years building Tweetbot for Twitter and it was shut down in a blink of an eye.

For a while I’ve been hearing people say how “bad” their Twitter experience has been recently. How many controversy-baiting tweets they’re being pushed, or how often they get content they just don’t want to see. This had always confused me, as it didn’t match at all with what I was seeing—I thought to myself that maybe they should just unfollow whoever was retweeting that content into their timelines.

Well, now I get it.

I’ve not used the official Twitter client in—checks notes—over a decade and, well, it turns out it’s not… great. Spot checking it just now, and out of my latest 15 posts, 7 of them are negative, click-batey noise that the algorithm is prioritising as the most “engaging” content. I’m also getting notifications about random accounts that I don’t follow having posted. Hugh Laurie’s dog has died. Thanks for letting me know, Twitter.

Tweetbot has been one of my top used apps for years, but also my refuge. Always focused on the user experience above all else, it is such a loss to see it come to an end in such an abrupt and unceremonious way.

The only silver lining to this dark cloud is that Ivory—Tapbot’s new Mastodon client—is brilliant. It already feels like home.

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