Twitter cancels its Chirp conference for developers amid management transition

Twitter is canceling its developer-focused Chirp conference amid management transition, the company said late Thursday. The conference was scheduled to take place in San Francisco on November 16.

After Elon Musk took over the company last month, there have been several executive exits and directional changes in the company’s product strategy. So it is not surprising the social network is abandoning its plan for the conference’s return after more than a decade of hiatus.

In a tweet, Twitter’s official account for developer-related announcements said that the company is “hard at work to make Twitter better for everyone, including developers” and it might soon share some news about the topic.

The company’s head of developer products, Amir Shevat, reacted to the news with a cryptic message, stating: “Winds of change.”

In June, Parag Agrawal-led Twitter announced that it’s bringing back the Chirp conference in November. The company also kickstarted a contest for developers to show creative use cases of its new v2 API with prices like $10,000 for winners of different categories and free access to the enterprise tier of the API for a year. It said while the conference will no longer take place, the social network will still announce the winners of the contest.

Twitter first held Chirp in 2010 but abandoned the event the next year. While the platform has had a tenuous relationship with developers in the last decade, it has been trying to win the community back with new programs and a refreshed API in recent years. What’s more, the company opened up API access to academic researchers last year.

Earlier this year, it debuted a program called Twitter Toolbox, which highlighted some third-party apps. At that time, Shevat said the company was open to exploring models like Twitter’s own app store.

Last week, Twitter opened up new endpoints to direct messages through the v2 API that enables third-party apps to provide a better DM experience to users.

It’s unclear what Twitter for developers will look like in the Musk era. The Tesla CEO has given indications that the firm will prioritize engineering, so developers can hope that they will get better access to the company’s tools.

But until then, there will be questions surrounding the future outlook of some products such as TweetDeck, which is popular among power users of the social network. The company started testing a new version of TweetDeck last year with the hope to make it a paid product. Earlier this year, findings by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong suggested that Twitter might bring TweetDeck to its subscription umbrella Twitter Blue. But since Musk is overhauling the subscription program in a massive way, there is no way to be sure whether TweetDeck still has a place in it.

Read more about Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter on TechCrunch