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Windows Phone Twitter client Birdsong shutting down

Developer cites Twitter API and weakness of Windows Phone Marketplace as causes

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 10, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2cd5

When Twitter updated its API, it was generally considered to be third party app killer. The API put new restrictions on outside developers that were bound to make it harder to get a foothold on the social network.

There has already been at least one developer that was forced to stop testing citing problems its had getting around the new guidelines set by Twitter, and now another third-party app has fallen victim to the Twitter API.

Red Badger, the London-based developer of Birdsong, a Windows Phone Twitter client, announced Thursday that it will be removing the app from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The company puts the blame on both Twitter's API restrictions, as well as the weakness of the Windows Phone Marketplace, as the two main reasons it is choosing to shut Birdsong down.

"Any developer who has built a client around the Twitter API will have always been aware that they were ultimately at the mercy of Twitter, but in recent months Twitter have had a distinct change of heart in regards to 3rd party developers that has been well documented and dissected elsewhere to the point there is no need to cover it further here," David Wynne, founder of Red Badger, wrote.

"Secondly Windows Phone Marketplace has not proven itself, for us at least, to be a financially viable proposition at this moment in time. The revenue generated from Birdsong sales vs. the internal cost of development and push service hosting simply doesn’t add up."

Birdsong, which was released just short of two years ago, was the premiere Twitter app for Windows Phone. It included features such as live tile and push notifications, live in-app updates for direct messages and mentions, configurable timelines, multiple accounts, threaded conversations and geo-tag tweets.

Wynne says that it was one of the first fully featured Twitter clients to hit the marketplace. At it’s height it was the top ranked paid for Twitter client in 91% of territories, and the number one paid for social app in 51% of all territories.

In August, Twitter released its new API, which put more restrictions on third party developers in order to get users to use apps designed and released by Twitter instead.

The new restrictions made it so that applications that have more than at least 100,000 users will have to work directly with Twitter on their product, policies and service agreement. Those that already have more than 100,000 user can only grow to 200% of their current size before they will contact Twitter.

The decision was controversial, to say the least, as it was not clear if the changes that Twitter made were to  actually benefit users, or to only really benefit Twitter.

One popular third part app on Twitter, Tweetbot, was forced to stop testing citing problems its had getting around the new guidelines set by Twitter.

Tweetbot is meant to enhance the Twitter experience on iOS with features including multiple account switching, in-timeline viewing of images, push notifications, and the ability to mute certain followers and topics in the timeline view.

"We’d like to extend our thanks to all the users of Birdsong over the last 2 years, especially the enthusiastic folk who helped us beta test each version. We apologies to those who are still actively using Birdsong and are inconvenienced by our decision, it was not an easy one to come to," Wynne wrote, also recommending that Birdsong users try out a different app called Rowi instead.

(Image source: http://red-badger.com)


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