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Reviving Trust in the Twitter Developer Platform: A Journey of Ambition and Betrayal

In the ever-evolving world of social media, Twitter stands as a global platform where opinions flow freely. However, the dynamics between Twitter and its developer community have witnessed a rollercoaster ride, marked by moments of collaboration, ambition, and a sudden, unexpected betrayal.

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The Golden Era of Twitter API (2006-2012)

Twitter’s journey with developers began on a promising note, offering a free public API from 2006 to 2012. Developers capitalized on this opportunity, creating value-add services that enhanced the user experience. TweetDeck, among others, emerged as a testament to the potential of an open developer ecosystem.

Erosion of Trust (2012-2021)

The tides changed post-2012 as Twitter tightened its grip on data access, causing a decline in developer trust. The need for a revival became evident, leading to the acquisition of Reshuffle in May 2021. This strategic move aimed to address the broken state of the developer platform and rekindle the trust that had been lost over the years.

A Vision for Resurrection

Following the acquisition, a dedicated team, led by the author, embarked on a mission to reopen the Twitter API. The goal was not only to provide developers with enhanced API endpoints but to envision Twitter as a true developer platform. This involved migrating the old API to a modern GraphQL-based infrastructure.

Launch of Twitter V2 API (November 15, 2021)

The efforts culminated in the official launch of the new Twitter V2 API on November 15, 2021. The developer community greeted this release with enthusiasm, expressing their love for the revamped platform. However, this was just the starting point of a more extensive plan to transform Twitter into an interactive hub for developer-powered apps.

Ambitious Plans for the Future

Beyond API enhancements, the vision extended to creating in-Twitter apps, allowing users to seamlessly integrate experiences like sharing music from Spotify, supporting causes through integrated donation experiences, and even playing games within the Twitter interface. The team dreamed of a decentralized timeline, enabling developers to curate and share their own timelines tailored to specific interests.

Unveiling Experiments

Amidst the acquisition uncertainties, the team launched experiments like the tiles experiment, a stepping stone toward in-Twitter apps. The vision was to create a diverse ecosystem where users could discover and install apps and timelines tailored to their interests. Monetization opportunities for developers were also under consideration, reflecting a commitment to sustaining the developer community.

The Unexpected Turn of Events (November 4, 2022)

Despite the promising trajectory, the journey took an unexpected turn on November 4, 2022. The entire team, brimming with ambition, was unceremoniously fired. Dreams of creating a vibrant developer platform within Twitter shattered overnight. The abrupt dismissal left only a handful of people remaining from the once 100-person organization.

Impact on Developer Trust

The abrupt termination not only disrupted ongoing projects but dealt a severe blow to the trust that developers had begun to rebuild. The author, reflecting on the incident, acknowledges the breach of trust and expresses regret for being unable to prevent it. The aftermath leaves a void in the developer platform, a stark departure from the ambitious plans presented just a month earlier.

Lessons Learned and Moving Forward

Building on a platform requires trust, and the sudden upheaval at Twitter jeopardized that trust. Drawing from experiences with successful platforms like Android and Slack, the importance of openness and stability in fostering developer trust becomes evident. The author, now transitioning into the venture capital world, pledges to invest in impactful developer platforms committed to openness and trust.


The tale of Twitter’s developer platform is one of highs and lows, ambition, and betrayal. As the platform faces the aftermath of a promising vision abruptly dismantled, the importance of trust in developer relations remains paramount. The developer community, once hopeful, now grapples with uncertainty about the future of their projects within the Twitter ecosystem.

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FAQs – Unveiling the Aftermath

  1. What led to the firing of the Twitter developer platform team? The sudden termination on November 4, 2022, remains shrouded in mystery, leaving the developer community in shock. Official statements are scarce, contributing to the perplexity surrounding the decision.
  2. How does the abrupt dismissal impact ongoing projects and the developer community? With the team dismantled, ongoing projects face an uncertain fate. Developer trust, painstakingly rebuilt, is now at risk, potentially impacting the willingness of developers to invest in the Twitter platform.
  3. What were the key features of the new Twitter V2 API? Launched on November 15, 2021, the Twitter V2 API aimed to provide developers with an improved suite of API endpoints. The response from the developer community was initially positive before the unexpected turn of events.
  4. How does this incident compare to past challenges in the tech industry, such as Windows Mobile and Facebook API issues? The incident raises questions about the stability of developer platforms. Developers, having faced challenges with platforms like Windows Mobile and Facebook API in the past, now confront a similar uncertainty with Twitter.
  5. What are the future prospects for the Twitter developer platform, and how does this impact the broader developer community? The future of the Twitter developer platform is uncertain, with the abrupt dismissal casting a shadow over ambitious plans. The broader developer community must now reassess their engagement with the platform, considering the recent breach of trust.