Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft's Twitter integration, which enabled players to tweet about achievements, rare finds, and other activities directly from within the game, is being disabled.
"Over the next two days, we will update World of Warcraft to remove the integrated Twitter posting feature," community manager Kaivax posted on the WoW forums. "After this small update, the function to Tweet from in-game will no longer be available, and the settings which store your Twitter credentials will no longer appear. This will not require any action by players."
Kaivax's message was posted on February 7, which means the function should be disabled now.
World of Warcraft got Twitter integration way back in 2015 as part of the 6.1 update. Going by the responses to the shutdown announcement, it doesn't seem to be a particularly popular feature, although some users in the replies say they tweeted from within the game at least occasionally.
Blizzard didn't say why it's cutting the feature, but a widely held assumption is that it was caused by planned changes to the Twitter API. Access to the API, which enables things like those Twitter bots we all like so much, has previously been free, but Twitter announced on February 2 that it was ending free access to the API in favor of "a paid basic tier." That change was due to take place on February 9, which also happens to be the due date for the removal of Twitter support in WoW.
Twitter unexpectedly changed direction on that plan yesterday, announcing that access to the current free API will be extended to February 13, and that "a new form of free access" will subsequently be rolled out. But it will be extremely restrictive, "limited to Tweet creation of up to 1,500 Tweets per month for a single authenticated user token." I don't know how much traffic WoW's integrated tweet function generates but as one user noted, it works out to roughly "two tweets per hour, per application, per user." That might be enough for a mid-tier novelty bot but I doubt it's going to satisfy the requirements of a massive MMO.
Blizzard could pay for access to the API, but even if there was interest in doing so, there doesn't seem to be much point. Twitter itself is a complete gong show these days—the entire platform was broken for hours last night, for reasons that remain a mystery—and utterly rudderless: After walking back the decision to eliminate free access to the API, Twitter announced a "low level" access program for $100 per month. It's also winding down the Premium Twitter API on February 13, but subscribers can apply for access to the higher-tier (and much more expensive) Enterprise API instead.
Also on February 13, we will deprecate the Premium API. If you’re subscribed to Premium, you can apply for Enterprise to continue using these endpoints.February 8, 2023
Twitter itself, meanwhile, has shed a non-insignificant amount of users, a pattern that's predicted to grow over the next two years. Which ultimately leads to a very simple question: Why would Blizzard (or, frankly, anyone) pay for that?
I've reached out to Blizzard to ask if the removal of WoW's Twitter integration is connected to the coming API changes and will update if I receive a reply.