Jetpack for WordPress: End of Twitter automatic sharing
Jetpack announced that the auto-share feature of the social portion of the plugin for Twitter was no longer working, blaming last-minute changes by Twitter and the inability to reach an agreement.
The jetpack announcement explained:
“Twitter has decided at short notice to drastically change the terms and pricing of the Twitter API.
We have attempted to work in good faith with Twitter to negotiate new terms, but have been unable to reach an agreement.
As a result, the Twitter connection on Jetpack Social will stop working and your blog posts will no longer be automatically shared to Twitter.”
Twitter offers individuals a free limited version of access to its API for an App ID.
It also offers a “Basic” version that costs $100/month for two App IDs, and doesn’t say how much the Enterprise tier costs.
These prices are arguably expensive and counterproductive for a site like Twitter losing users to Mastodon and other social media sites.
Twitter’s new API hit rates make little economic sense for Twitter (which should be trying to make it easier for users to interact with the site) and for services like Jetpack, which can bring thousands of users a day.
Jetpack recommends sharing tweets manually by copying and pasting the URL into tweets.
Other Twitter apps affected by the Twitter API change
Unannounced changes to Twitter’s API starting in January 2023 were the first signs of trouble.
Companies like Twitterrific and Tweetbot announced they were closing down because their users could no longer connect through the Twitter API.
Twitterrific Quits Twitter
In a blog post announcing the closure, the developers advocated that their users not ask for refunds, which they said would be devastating for a small business like theirs.
The developers of Twitterrrific wrote:
“We’re sorry to say that the app’s sudden and undignified demise was due to an unannounced and undocumented policy change by an increasingly capricious Twitter – a Twitter we no longer trust and no longer wish to work with.” .
… if you subscribed to Twitterrific for iOS, we ask that you do not request a refund from Apple. Losing ongoing, recurring revenue from Twitterrific is already going to hurt our business significantly, and any refunds will come straight out of our pockets – not Twitter’s and not Apple’s.
To put it simply, thousands of refunds would be devastating for a small business like ours.”
Tweetbot Quits Twitter
Tapbot, the makers of Tweetbot, were also affected and had to shut down their service.
The makers of Tweetbot wrote:
“On January 12, 2023, without warning, Elon Musk ordered his employees at Twitter to block access to third-party clients, immediately blocking hundreds of thousands of users from accessing Twitter from their favorite clients.”
tapbot tweeted an additional explanation:
“Say goodbye to Tweetbot.
We’re proud to have been of service to you for the past 12+ years, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we have to shut down Tweetbot.”
The Twitter API Policy does not affect other services
But there seems to be more to this story than what Jetpack and other apps and services had in common.
Social sharing services like Hootsuite and Buffer have agreements with Twitter and continue to offer Twitter scheduling features for tweets.
An interesting twist in the Twitter API saga is that the social sharing app’s buffer is unaffected by this change.
Buffer posted an update on its blog stating that the change to Twitter’s API will not impact its users.
Their announcement stated that everything would work as before.
“We have a longstanding relationship with Twitter, built over the past 12 years, and have worked directly with their team on the way forward.”
buffer too tweeted this announcement on Sunday, April 30, 2023:
“If you use Buffer for your Twitter account, we want you to know that Buffer users are not affected by Twitter’s recent API changes.
Your Buffer account and Twitter connections will continue to work as usual for both free and paid plans.”
One has to ask, why was Buffer able to reach an agreement and Jetpack wasn’t?
Jetpack is an all-in-one plugin that offers security, performance, and marketing-related features, available in a premium and a free version.
The various components of the plugin exist in a standalone version that can be used in a modular way, allowing users to choose the features they need.
Jetpack Social is a component that provides social media functionality to WordPress sites.
The plugin includes an auto-share feature that unlocks automatic sharing of articles on social media and schedules sharing across the most popular social media sites.
The social plugin shares posts on the following social media platforms:
Twitter will no longer be available for automatic sharing.
Jetpack announced that it will introduce social sharing on Instagram and Mastodon.
Mastodon is a popular social media alternative for Twitter that has experienced exponential growth since Twitter slowly fell apart after Elon Musk took over, firing key employees in every department and alienating advertisers.
Instagram is an extremely popular site for sharing photos and videos on social media.
It will be interesting to see how Jetpack Social intends to integrate text-based article posting with sharing on an image and video sharing platform.
Read Jetpack’s announcement:
The End of Twitter Auto-Sharing
Featured image from Shutterstock/Cast Of Thousands