Following its acquisition this week of Smyte, a “trust and safety as a service” company, Twitter has reportedly shuttered Smyte's API with little warning to Smyte customers.
Smyte's customers include well-known companies such as GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Zendesk and TaskRabbit, as well as npm, one of the world's most widely-used package managers. According to TechCrunch, npm experienced a production outage as a result of the API shutdown.
TechCrunch's sources indicated that Smyte's customers received a phone call informing them that the API was being removed "and then – boom – the service was gone." In one case, a Smyte customer tweeted that less than 10 minutes' notice was provided.
Thanks for just shutting off service at 615am this morning with 7 minutes notice.
— Curtis Schofield (@curtisjennings) June 21, 2018
Some customers reportedly had multi-year contracts with Smyte. While the terms of those contracts are not public, it does raise questions about the startup's post-acquisition behavior.
Of course, post-acquisition API shutdowns are not unusual, but the almost immediate removal of Smyte API access from customers that were ostensibly paying for service is not in line with best practice and is especially disturbing in light of Twitter's stated intent to mend its relationship with the developer community, which has been of questionable success.
TechCrunch says that Twitter did not respond to a request for comment but the company is apparently attempting to help Smyte customers identify alternate service providers.