Twitter wants to reinvent itself by merging the old with the new

But while Twitter has provided developers like Ms. Chou with the data they need to create personalized experiences, the company has also taken that away. It has locked down the data types that developers use on several occasions, most recently in 2018, when it effectively restricted access to its application programming interface, or API. break up a number of small businesses‘ apps.

Anil Dash, who helped found think abouta company that relied on data from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, recalls telling Twitter executives that they effectively killed his business by cutting off access to data.

“Developers don’t trust them,” Dash said. “You’re Lucy with the ball and we’re Charlie Brown, and you’ve taken the ball out 100 times.”

Mr Dash, who is now the general manager of Glitch, said Twitter’s decentralization strategy hinged on its ability to appeal to developers. “It’s not insurmountable, but it’s the fundamental condition for the success of this whole strategy: to convince the most skeptical audiences to trust them again.”

Amir Shevat, Twitter’s product manager for developers, got the job by offering similar critiques to Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Agrawal. At the time, he was a senior executive at Reshuffle, a development platform. But after discussions about developer access, Twitter executives agreed to acquire Reshuffle last March.

“Talking to Jack and Parag, they recognized that Twitter used to be a lot more open,” Mr. Shevat said in an interview. He added: “I think what you’re seeing is a throwback to that.”

“If you decentralize your platform and give developers more power to create richer experiences and better, safer timelines, then everyone benefits,” he also said.