Twitter has quietly done away with the ability for you to see which application or service a tweet has been posted with, as per a report by The Next Web. This means that users will no longer be able to know if a tweet has been sent through third-party applications such as Tweetbot or HootSuite. However, if you’re tech-savvy and determined, it is possible to know how a tweet has been posted by viewing the source code of the tweet page. This change was brought to light by John Sheehan on App.net.
Twitter has already made this change in its mobile app. It seems the social networking site is moving away from its earlier philosophy of providing users with as much detail as possible. Previously, you could view a significant amount of detail on a tweet by clicking a ‘Details’ button. It is speculated that this is a move by Twitter to further control how content on its website looks and gently pushing users towards using first-party apps and clients. Not being able to view how a tweet is posted will result in tweeters getting a more cohesive reading experience.
The restriction on the ability to see the application, client or service a tweet was posted from can be good for security, but it alienates third-party clients, which are widely used for tweeting. It also deprives third parties of free visibility, which is a big factor for them.
Which client was a tweet sent from? No idea now
This move follows the changes to the Twitter API for third-party apps that were implemented recently. The new guidelines, many of which are compulsory, govern how third-party apps access and display Twitter's data. This affects all popular smartphone and desktop clients, many of which analyse the public stream of Tweets, and display trends, photos, etc. The new rules appear to restrict common practices such as mixing Tweets with news from other sources in order to show users relevant information, and displaying Tweets and statistics in innovative ways. This would force all third-party apps to look and behave very much like the official Twitter apps and clients, thus limiting their appeal. The guidelines also seem to imply that Twitter will have much broader freedom to impose additional restrictions on third parties if their size and reach grow significantly.
Some of the other important changes introduced in the new API version pertain to what Twitter earlier called Display Guidelines, but will now refer to as Display Requirements. Here, the post adds that all applications displaying tweets will have to follow these requirements. These include linking @usernames to the appropriate Twitter profile, displaying appropriate Tweet actions (e.g. Retweet, Reply and Favorite) and scaling the display of Tweets appropriately based on the device. If an application displays tweets and does not follow the requirements, then Twitter can revoke their application key. Developers now also need to have their applications certified by Twitter. If an application does not have Twitter certification, Twitter can block its access to the API.