Twitter API Terms Revision Ignites Controversy

Twitter recently announced the next version of the REST API that powers the many apps that hook into the popular social media service, a move which sparked much criticism among users and developers alike. Some of the changes include:

  • Every API endpoint will require authentication, through OAth
  • Rate limiting is done per endpoint
  • The revised display guidelines will be more actively enforced. They want a more uniform style.
  • Developers will have to “work with Twitter” if they have more than an arbitrary number of users. As an app developer, you will need “[Twitter’s] permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens.” Applications that already have over 100,000 tokens will have their fuzzy limit set at 200% of their current token count.

The last point, especially, has been controversial, as it seems suspiciously like a ploy to disadvantage third-party Twitter clients and push users toward the official app. Whether that is the case or not, it could conceivably inconvenience the developers of popular apps like Tweetbot and Echofon.

Hopefully things will work out okay. Twitter’s own app is utterly mediocre in comparison to the better third-party clients, chiefly Tweetbot. Twitter would be shooting themselves in the foot if they put the kibosh on the software that some of the more influential users prefer. Third-party clients are what made Twitter what it is today, after all.

  • Andranik

    Thanks for the good article about Twitter. I learnt many things from this article.