I don’t really know what to say. I am shocked about this decision, disappointed, annoyed, mad, and to be honest, not even surprised. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen this announcement just now, as I’m currently affected by the major floods in Germany and still don’t have an internet connection at home with very limited mobile connectivity.
With the decision of entirely removing the follow/unfollow API endpoints on both kraken and helix, you’re killing one of the (last) major features of my application which I’ve been working on and maintaining for eight years, since 2013.
The reason for your decision seems very shortsighted and not properly thought through. Developers of abusive bots will for sure find other ways around that, eg. by simply switching to your GQL API, and all you’re achieving here is hurting legitimate developers who have been using your public APIs for several years.
Let me say it as it is, this is probably your biggest public API related fuckup yet. And I’m saying this with the entire history of mismanagement and negligence of the past years in mind, namely on kraken v3, kraken v5 and helix, especially with how you’ve been treating us 3rd party developers. Last year you’ve finally promised to improve the overall public API situation, especially on helix, as kraken was being cut down again and again for no apparent reason, but even this hasn’t really been accomplished yet, and now you’re basically blowing a big hole into the feature set of both of them, without any plans of not hurting your legitimate 3rd party developers. Great job!
What I find unbelievable is that instead of providing a solution for those legitimate devs, you’re waiting for our reactions to your decisions first and then expect us to make suggestions on your feedback tracker, which will then probably be ignored, just as usual, same with dozens of API bug reports on GH, etc. Not to mention that any “solution” which would require a workaround, like for example making the user visit your website in their web browser just to follow/unfollow users/channels (and games) would be an incredibly bad user experience for basically every 3rd party application, and is thus not a “solution”.
What you should’ve done instead of simply removing the follow/unfollow endpoints on kraken and helix in such a weird rush, is either whitelisting trusted devs or rate-limiting follow/unfollow endpoints with entire client-IDs, so that registered applications can’t abuse the endpoints. Since you should have enough data about which client-IDs are abusive and which are not, whitelisting/approving legitimate developers sounds like a no-brainer. Maybe even implement different levels/tiers of trust for devs which will unlock certain features. This would also help with bots which are distributed over multiple client-IDs.
Properly contacting us developers with simple emails instead of writing this “rather hidden” thread on your dev-forums which most of us will only ever visit once or a couple of times a year should’ve also been a no-brainer, but this shows how you’ve been treating us 3rd party devs. Please also don’t say that you’re not neglecting the state of your public APIs, because that’s exactly what you’ve been doing, especially since the days of the GQL API on your website, as already pointed out in this thread.
Removing such important features and how this is being handled is the equivalent of showing us the middle-finger. And this will of course also hurt smaller channels on your platform, as users of 3rd party application won’t be able to follow with their accounts.