Substack story writers who try to embed tweets into their stories will be surprised: After pasting a link, a message appears saying that Twitter has “unexpectedly restricted access to embedding Tweets in Substack posts”. The company is currently working on a solution.
Between Thursday night and Friday morning, Twitter began to limit promotion and visibility of tweets that contained links containing the word Substack. While new tweets that link directly to Substack.com are still possible to tweet, you will get an error message from Twitter saying “Some actions on the Tweet have been disabled” while TweetDeck or its apps seem to work but fail silently.A Twitter error message that appears when you attempt to interact with tweets that have a Substack link in them.
To reply to a Substack tweet, you will get an error message that says “Something went wrong. But don’t worry. Let’s try again.” This error is different from the one we found earlier. However, several authors appear to have started to work around this issue by hiding their links using redirect services such as ShortURL in order to avoid the Twitter block.
This unfortunate circumstance comes just days after Substack announced Notes, a Twitter competitor.
Twitter has not made any public statements about the issue, nor does its CEO Elon Musk. However, it is a reminder of the date in December when Twitter temporarily blocked links from all competitors like Instagram, Facebook and Mastodon. Musk stated that Twitter should be simple to use but not allow for the relentless free promotion of rivals before the ban was lifted. This is not allowed by any traditional publisher and Twitter will not allow it.
Substack’s problem with embedding tweets could pose problems for writers who want information about Twitter in their newsletters or that discuss things happening on the platform . Although screenshots of tweets can work in certain cases, they are less reliable because they don’t give a direct link back to the source. If you want to embed a tweet’s video, screen shots won’t work. Twitter appears to be interested in becoming a video platform. There are several blue perks that relate to improving the uploading experience.
Substack has announced that it is investigating the issue and provides an example of how embedding tweets can work.
Substack spokesperson Helen Tobin didn’t respond to my question about Thursday’s issues embedding tweets. Instead, she shared the same statement that the company tweeted. However, if they are, then it would not be the only platform that is affected by Twitter’s API policies. These were announced last week.
Since then, many companies have been notifying users they must remove certain features which interacted with Twitter. Many people who run bots on Twitter have posted about how they are unable to post as they used to. These are just a few of the bots and apps that were broken:
- , Feedbin’s developer, was informed by Twitter Rules and policies that the app allowed people to access tweets through their RSS reader. The same message was sent to Inoreader, another RSS app .
- TweetShift is a Discord bot that allows you to interact with Twitter via chat app. states it was “randomly removed from the Twitter API” Wednesday.
- TweeseCake, and TWBlue are apps that make Twitter more accessible for blind users. However, they no longer work on certain platforms.
- Many novelty bots such as gender on the day or Possum Every hour have warned users they might not be able continue posting.
- Botmaking tool Cheap bots, Done Quick was removed from the Twitter API. V Buckenham was informed in an email that he had to sign up for one the new API tiers by the company. This will almost certainly bring down any other bots created using the tool.
The Verge was informed by Buckenham that the email was their only communication from Twitter regarding the suspension. They also stated that they didn’t expect anything to change before April 31st based on company’s announcement that it would be deprecating accounts “over the next thirty days.”
Developers have criticized the new API plans for being too expensive. The Basic tier costs $100 per month. It allows your app to post up to 50,000 tweets per day (with a limit of 3,000 tweets per user per month) and can also read 10,000 tweets each month. The free tier allows you to write Tweets but not to read them. This wouldn’t work for the Thread Reader bot which makes it easier to see the posts in a string.
Even for those who appear to be in Twitter’s good graces, the API transition was a bumpy one. WordPress’ API access had been suspended earlier this week. Users couldn’t share posts to the platform via auto-share. It was eventually restored by the company and stated that it will be working directly with Twitter to ensure that this service continues to run without interruption.
Many tools integrate Twitter, and still work. Ghost, which is a similar blogging platform to Substack’s, and content management system (obviously), still allow embeds to work. It’s possible that these tools, which rely on API access for their functionality, could have problems in the future as Twitter continues to decrease access.
This will not surprise anyone who is familiar with Twitter’s treatment of third-party clients. The company cut off their API access in January. then rewrote its rules to ban them about a week later.