Tweetbot has long been one of the Mac’s best third-party Twitter clients, but thanks to Twitter’s dreaded token limit, that’s no longer the case. The app was pulled from the Mac App Store this weekend after new users were prevented from logging in.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Twitter token limit, here’s how it works in simple terms: Third-party applications are assigned 100,000 “tokens,” and every time a new user logs into their Twitter account using the app, one of those tokens is used up. Once they’re all gone, that’s it.
This strict policy is ruining third-party Twitter apps; not only does it mean great apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific can only have 100,000 users, but it discourages other developers from building new Twitter clients; no one wants to build an app only 100,000 people can use.
The latest token limit casualty is Tweetbot for Mac, which was pulled from the Mac App Store on Saturday after users began reporting that they were no longer able to authenticate it.
“We are aware of Tweetbot for Mac authentication issues,” Tweetbot posted on Twitter. “We have contacted Twitter and are waiting for a response. Thanks for your patience.”
According to Tweetbot developer Todd Thomas, the Mac app wasn’t expected to hit its token limit quite so soon. But if you’re a new user trying to log into it, you’ll be greeted by a Twitter error that reads, “this application cannot authenticate more users at this time.”
Here’s to hoping Tweetbot creator Tapbots will be able to work something out with Twitter, but other developers have tried and failed. The social network clearly wants users to be using its own, official applications only, which is why it makes things so difficult for third parties.
There are Twitter token workarounds that have been employed by apps like Falcon Pro for Android, but they can be tricky. This may not be the end for Tweetbot for Mac just yet, however.