Twitter unexpectedly ended an important chapter in its history when it quietly revised its developer standards to exclude third-party clients on its network. Unlike most of its competitors, which restrict what developers can access, Twitter has a long relationship with independent app producers.
Developers of several Twitter clients are now shifting their focus to another upstart platform: Mastodon. Tapbots, the company behind Tweebot, published Ivory, a Mastodon client based on their long-running Twitter programme, this week. Matteo Villa, the creator of the Twitter app Fenix, is testing his own Mastodon client called Wooly. Junyu Kuang, the independent developer behind Twitter client Spring, is developing Mona, a Mastodon software. Shihab Mehboob, the creator of the Twitter app Aviary, is close to releasing Mammoth, a Mastodon client.
The ex-Twitter employees are among a rising number of independent app developers who have adopted Mastodon, the open-source social network that has witnessed spectacular growth since Elon Musk took over Twitter. The decentralised service currently has over 1.5 million users spread over around 10,000 servers. This, along with Mastodon’s open-source, “API-first” strategy, has attracted scores of developers eager to customise the service.