TwitLonger - No, it's not dead
TL;DR: I DO NOT PLAN TO SHUT DOWN TWITLONGER, AND A NEW VERSION IS COMING SOON.
The new version isn't quite ready yet. But hopefully soon. Updates will be posted to Mastodon and Twitter.
On May 17th 2023, Twitter suspended API access for TwitLonger, without warning or cause, preventing both signing in and creating new posts. Twitter no longer has a way to contact developer support to attempt a resolution. There have been no changes to what TwitLonger does or how it works since it started in 2008. Twitter have also made it clear they want to be “the everything app”, which strongly signals they are no longer interested in supporting third party apps and services like TwitLonger.
So, what's next? I'd already been working on a new version of TwitLonger prior to this, which is not reliant on Twitter. The social media landscape has changed greatly over the last few years, and serving just a single platform didn't make sense anyway. TwitLonger has had a fascinating and outsized history, especially for a one person project, and it's probably long past the time to fly the nest, so to speak, and start playing nicely with other services.
Thank you to everyone who has used TwitLonger over the years. I hope you'll stick around for the next chapter.
Some important things:
- Existing posts are still available. You can still read and share existing posts, and they will remain available.
- Existing post will also remain available, at the same URLs, in the new version. Preserving Internet history is important.
- The new version will not be reliant on third party accounts to sign in. The current plan is to use passkeys, which are the future of authentication, an open standard, supported by Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and are significantly easier, safer and more secure than passwords.
- The new version will have a dark mode. Finally.
- Managing old posts will be an issue. Without access to Twitter to sign in, there is no way to authenticate who owns a older post. If you need posts or an account deleted, the easiest way would be to DM or @ message me from the account on Twitter, and I can manually delete the post. If you no longer have access to the account, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org is the best option.
- In an ideal world, I want to run TwitLonger without ads, without analytics, without tracking. So I will be investigating direct support from users, and other options. Maybe Patreon, maybe subscriptions that unlock additional functionality.
- This will be a ground up rewrite of the service, which means I am much better positioned to add new functionality. I am open to suggestions of things you'd like to see. However, supporting images and videos will not be one of them. TwitLonger has always been about text, and that's what it will remain.