Our Mastodon Future
This week’s post is short and to the point.
I was on the road yesterday listening to old podcasts (‘old’ is relative, as these were only two weeks old, but it shows how quickly things change). The topic turned to Mastodon and how fortunate all these Twitter users have been to find something both familiar enough and, if you felt jaded by the quality of discourse on Twitter the past few years, qualitatively better than Twitter.
The Stress of Relying on the Twitter API
I started EP with essential bookmarking in mind. The Twitter integration required much more forethought and planning but I was also keenly aware that relying on the 1.1 APIs could present issues if they were to be deprecated. Alternately, if EP were to make too many API calls, I was worried about running into limits thst may preclude wider adoption.
This issue came to pass sometime last October as I started hitting some rate limits. Around that time, I discovered a bug causing many additional requests to the Twitter API which suggested an issue on my part. Not knowing for sure, I fixed the bug after which things resolved themselves and life moved on.
EP is a small fish in a large pond, yet with the Twitter acquisition, I have long worried that Twitter would do something to affect API access in general. I expected them to neglect it or shut it down.
Then the announcement came this morning that Twitter will be shutting down free access, which finally answers my question of what they will do with their API.
Pay for the Twitter API?
I’m not giving Elon Musk one dime, and not for lack of paying for things – I pay several services as part of running EP. The more significant issue is that there is no guarantee this will stay the same in the future, either seeing certain APIs switched off or changed or the TOS changing to restrict apps like EP in the first place.
Why would I pay for pain and uncertainty from a company that has shown its capriciousness? It has quickly become a terrible steward of its core offering.
I am reading Twitter less and less as Mastodon has hit critical mass. It’s where the puck is.
Since December, I have been working on better Mastodon support for EveryPost. While a lot of restructuring is going on under the covers, it has felt very different from how I approached Twitter. The APIs are more consistent and, in many cases, better documented. The downsides are minor, and I expect the larger community to help mitigate any of these in the long term.
I expect EP to become much more focused on Mastodon in the future, to which I would say, I’m all in.
Turning off Twitter
I don’t look forward to this, but Twitter support will end very soon.
Since Twitter gave everyone little notice, this will seem abrupt.
Twitter integration never had a significant adoption rate, so the most significant effect will be personal, knowing the time I invested integrating the Twitter API has had its run.