Twitter Cuts Off Substack Embeds

Writers trying to embed tweets in their Substack stories are in for a rude surprise: after pasting a link to their site, a message pops up saying that “Twitter has unexpectedly restricted access to embedding tweets in Substack posts” and explaining that the company is working on a fix, The Verge reported.

The unfortunate situation comes on the heels of Substack announcing Notes, a Twitter competitor.

According to The Verge, the issue could cause problems for writers who want to talk about what’s going on with Twitter in their newsletters or about thing that are happening on the platform. While screenshots of tweets could work in some cases, they’re less trustworthy because they don’t provide a direct link to the source. Screenshots also won’t help you if you’re trying to, say, embed a video that someone posted on Twitter.

Engadget reported that Twitter has finally shut off its free API and, predictably, it’s breaking a lot of apps and websites. The company had previously said it would cut off access in early February, but later delayed the move without providing an updated timeline.

According to Engadget, after announcing its new paid API tiers last week, the company seems to have started cutting off thousands of developers relying on its free developer tools. Over the last couple days, a number of app makers and other services have reported that the Twitter API is no longer functioning.

Mashable reported that when Twitter rolled out the pricing for its paid API tiers last week, many indie developers announced they would have to shut down apps they had made for the platform. These distraught devs included those that had created service making hundreds to thousands of dollars a month, as the new API subscription tiers from Twitter would even priced them out.

Now, according to Mashable, the Elon Musk-owned company has seemingly cut off API access to even some of the largest Twitter-based apps – including some that wanted to pay the exorbitant new fees which start at $42,000 per month.

Mashable also reported that unlike Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific, which Musk banned earlier this year, none of the apps replicate Twitter’s platform. Users still have to regularly go to the company’s own website, mobile apps, or clients. What these apps do is help facilitate more content creation for Twitter and encourage usage of the platform. By destroying its third-party app ecosystem, Twitter is essentially shooting itself in the foot.

Considering all of this, it seems to me that Twitter – under Elon Musk – is intending to push people off the platform. I find it hard to believe that app developers are going to be able to come up with $42,000 a month to keep their apps alive on Twitter.

That said, I think there it is very likely that the priced-out app creators could do well by modifying their apps for Mastodon.