Three years ago this month Twitter broke its covenant with the third-party developers who helped fuel its initial growth and create some of its most innovative features. The message was clear: Twitter was in charge of its own platform, and while other Twitter apps would be tolerated, it would only be in limited fashion and for a limited time.
Today Twitter is a company in turmoil, with investors such as Chris Sacca clamoring for change after the exit of former CEO Dick Costolo and the interim takeover of co-founder Jack Dorsey. What can’t be disputed is that Twitter’s Mac app—introduced in 2011—is an extreme example of how Twitter has squandered the past few years. It drove third-party developers off of its platform in order to exert control, and then proceeded to bungle its app development.