As many of you probably know, Twitter is fighting a losing battle with fake news, trolls, etc. They’ve tried a lot of really stupid things to try and, well, to try and make people be something that we aren’t, but that’s another post.
Recently, they’ve started putting some serious limits on accounts, limits that are making the service, and making third party services, a whole lot less useful for reaching an audience. Case in point, Buffer has now, per Twitter rules, made it impossible to post anything to Twitter more than once.
You are no longer able to Re-Buffer previously published Twitter posts to Twitter accounts. They can still be Re-Buffered to other social networks.
You are no longer able to schedule posts for Twitter multiple times using the Power Scheduler feature.
As a blogger, here’s the problem with all of this. I don’t want to have to go to each and every social media account to share a new post, or to do it a handful of times so that more people than those who happen to be on Twitter when it posts, see it on Twitter.
Before all of these changes, my WordPress install automatically posted a new post (That I very likely scheduled to be posted instead of sitting there writing it live) to a number of social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook Pages, Google Plus and so on. I also had an IFTTT recipe to grab that post and tweet it again later, and another automated action to post it again 90 days from now. I might even log into Buffer occasionally at some odd hour and manually repost it to reach an overseas audience.
Now? I can still post it automatically from WordPress, but I suspect eventually that Twitter will remove that ability too.
For any other posts? I’m going to have to create some way to make those tweets different enough that Twitter won’t refuse them, and Buffer will actually also see them as “new” tweets.
I also can’t talk about workplace stress and depression here, and have that post to the twitter account tied to my Child Abuse page. I have to manually, again, go retweet it from there.
In a nutshell, rather than embrace the rich, diverse infrastructure that allows ideas to spread, Twitter seems to be purposefully creating a dumber version of itself. In this version, the only people you’ll be able to interact with, are the ones who happen to be looking at Twitter at the same time you are. That’s what it looked like when it first started, before all these other developers made good use of the APIs and built it up further.
It might be less controversial, but it’ll also be a whole lot less useful.