RIP Topify

I’ve praised Topify before, saying that it was one of the most useful little apps in my toolbox.  I’ve used it for over two years, and it has saved me a ton of time, by allowing me to manage my Twitter follows and un-follows (for those dumbasses who think auto-DMing someone will somehow make them money) via email.

Last week, Twitter changed the format of its email notifications, which broke the Topify’s method of  identifying and processing Twitter notification-related emails.  I don’t care enough about Twitter to explore this in any detail, but my general impression has long been that Twitter has a very schizophrenic relationship with the developer community- they love them- until they don’t. 

I was immediately worried that the end may be near for Topify, and today I received an email and read a blog post that confirmed my fears.  Topify is shutting down on August 5, 2011.

There’s theoretically some way to work around this change, but Arik Fraimovich, Topify’s developer, made the understandable decision to throw in the towel:

I considered switching to using the Streaming API in the past, but the only option for Topify is to use the Site Streams version of it. But Site Streams are still in beta, and according to the documentation there is no estimated date for it to exit beta. Considering this last episode and other actions by Twitter in the past year, I have no desire to expriment with their beta offerings. Not only this can result in unstable service for you, they might just shut it down one day.

Unless you are making a butt-load of money in the meantime, why in the world would developers work on small value-additive apps, when they know from experience that Twitter can and probably will pull the rug out from under them at any time?

All I can say to that is, thanks Arik for a great little service.  I used it every day for years, and it will be missed.

Now I’m going to have to visit Twitter to un-follow everyone who auto-DMs me