Twitter cuts off Tumblr, one engineer dissents

Go on to Tumblr right now and have a look at the “Find People You Know” option. Notice anything different? Yup, Twitter’s no longer one of the options.

In an official statement to BuzzFeed, Tumblr confirmed that it had been cut off by the social network. It’s not exactly pleased by the move either:

To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users’ ability to “Find Twitter Friends” on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting. Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter’s first partners. While we’re delighted by the response to our integrations with Facebook and Gmail, we are truly disappointed by Twitter’s decision.

Tumblr clearly feels like it’s been stabbed in the back by Twitter. If that sounds familiar it’s because changes to Twitter’s API have been well, to put it frankly, pissing off a lot of people who’ve depended on it until now to boost their offerings.

Interestingly it seems that Tumblr has someone from within Twitter’s ranks on its side. Check out how engineer Alex Choi responded to a tweet defending the massive changes Twitter’s made to its API of late:

Buzzfeed suggests that for its part Twitter obviously didn’t feel like it was getting enough out of the relationship with Tumblr to warrant giving it access to its interest graph. As Svbtle creator Dustin Curtis notes, it’s the most valuable thing Twitter has. Which is why it’s suddenly so keen on keeping it on a tight leash:

…most people do not create content in Twitter and therefore have no incentive to use Twitter outside of the value of its graph. Unlike replicating or using the Facebook graph externally, relocating the Twitter graph can have disastrous consequences for Twitter. Lots of celebrities use Tumblr, and if you can instantly relocate your Twitter graph into Tumblr, then what value does Twitter have, other than different content?



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