Nitter is a useful service to take a look at some content on Twitter without having to touch Twitter yourself. Sanitary gloves as it were, to access public Twitter content. It was also useful for sites to avoid embedding Twitter content directly and thus participating in their adtech tracking. It is now mostly impossible to look at Twitter content without being logged in, and Nitter helped solve that by providing an alternative front for it. I still have a Twitter account, but am never logged in, and I don’t intend to restart logging in regularly either. Nitter worked by using guest accounts on Twitter, a possibility that has since been discontinued by Twitter. Twitter is blocking calls from guest accounts to their APIs, and blocking the accounts when spotted it seems.
Zed, the developer behind the free and open-source Nitter project, has announced that the project is discontinued and not working anymore.
In the past few weeks I came across several links to ‘Nitter’, each on different domains. Nitter, it turns out, is a web front-end to see Twitter without Twitter being able to track you.
Twitter has been fighting third party apps for its services because it threatens their tracking and advertising, so they want to keep you inside their walled garden. Which is why they closely guard who and what has access to their API. Nitter doesn’t use the API, so Twitter doesn’t have their hands on the off-switch.
This is useful for seeing some of the things others link to, like the increasingly annoying habit of tweets being added to ‘journalism’. (“Politician x said something and Twitter wasn’t having it”)
It is also very useful that it provides RSS feeds for all Twitter content (users, #, and search terms).