It appears that Twitter and Tumblr are no longer friends-- Twitter has blocked Tumblr from letting its users search for Twitter followers who are also on Tumblr.
The move doesn't come as a total surprise. First off, BuzzFeed's Matt Buchanan predicted it may happen. And then, there's the fact that Twitter did the same thing to Instagram last month, in a move that was supposed to block other social networks from accessing the Twitter API, The Atlantic Wire reported.
Tumblr, in an official statement to Tech Crunch, said that they were truly disappointed by Twitter's decision.
To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users’ ability to “Find Twitter Friends” on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting. Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter’s first partners.
Twitter's response? They're keeping mum, simply pointing to the original statement they made when they shut Instagram out.
We understand that there’s great value associated with Twitter’s follow graph data, and we can confirm that it is no longer available within Instagram.
It's a move that's got quite a few people scratching their head, including Alex Choi, a Twitter engineer who told The New York Times' Nick Bilton that "this @tumblr business just stinks."
But the fact of the matter is that Twitter does have good reason to complicate it's relationship with other social media.
most people do not create content in Twitter and therefore have no incentive to use Twitter outside of the value of its graph. Unlike replicating or using the Facebook graph externally, relocating the Twitter graph can have disastrous consequences for Twitter. Lots of celebrities use Tumblr, and if you can instantly relocate your Twitter graph into Tumblr, then what value does Twitter have, other than different content?