Twitter API changes will limit access by third party apps

In June, the business-themed social network LinkedIn announced that its users would not be able to publish their Twitter messages to their LinkedIn profile anymore. This was due to Twitter's decision to tighten up how third party apps and websites use its APIs. Today, Twitter gave some more information on its plans, and it could be bad news for a number of third party apps.

In a post on Twitter's developer blog, the company announced that it would launch version 1.1 of its API sometime in the coming weeks. When it is released, third party Twitter apps that have more than 100,000 users will be able to increase those numbers to 200 percent of what they currently have. After that, they won't be able to add any more users without Twitter's permission. Any third party app that currently has less than 100,000 users won't be able to expand more than that number without the thumbs up from Twitter.

Third party Twitter clients that are pre-installed on a smartphone, PC, TV, or other electronic device will also need Twitter's consent before going forward. Twitter's blog says:

Due to the long lead time required to update pre-installed client applications once they're "in the wild", we want to make sure that the developer is providing the best Twitter experience possible — before the application ships. If you ship an application pre-installed without it being certified by Twitter, we reserve the right to revoke your application key.

The company seems to especially frown upon third party clients that Twitter feels come too close to what Twitter already offers. Specific clients such as Tweetbot and Echofon were specifically mentioned in the blog post. Twitter stated, "Nearly eighteen months ago, we gave developers guidance that they should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience."

The end result of all of these changes is that third parties might not even bother anymore linking their software to Twitter as the company seem determined to keep its "tweets" and its services to themselves.

Source: Twitter developer blog

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11 Comments

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It was only a matter of time before this would happen. Wonder if they are thinking about launching their own desktop client?

Neobond said,
It was only a matter of time before this would happen. Wonder if they are thinking about launching their own desktop client?

They've bought tweetdeck so they kinda already have a desktop client.

I seem to remember seeing someone had conducted a crude survey type thing where they monitored 1,000,000 tweets and what device that sent them and based on the data collected it was around 75% of all tweets were made by official clients.

So closing off all third party clients wouldn't make a huge difference to them.


Wish I'd saved the link as I'm buggered if I can find it again.

Indeed. At this point they should just make it a closed service, and only allow their website and official apps access. It sounds like that's what they are slowly going for anyways.

It sounds like they can't afford the bandwidth and processing power required for their own growth and don't know how to handle investors.

That's entirely an opinion based on what I'm seeing, not based on anything I know.

Shane Nokes said,
Indeed. At this point they should just make it a closed service, and only allow their website and official apps access. It sounds like that's what they are slowly going for anyways.

It sounds like they can't afford the bandwidth and processing power required for their own growth and don't know how to handle investors.


That's entirely an opinion based on what I'm seeing, not based on anything I know.

I think its because on 3rd party apps twitter doesnt get money from ads that they might be implementing on their mobile version and you don't see the promoted tweets. they are trying to lock everyone in to use their app or mobile site so they can show you ads and promoted tweets that corporations pay for. twitter isn't important to me so if they end up doing this I can just stop using it.

Shane Nokes said,
I wonder how long it will be before they realize they are shooting themselves in the foot with a move like this.

First instagram.. now this? oh boy. Twitter really should just disallow use of their API altogether. Be quicker than killing it off slowly.

Ryoken said,
Anything that limits the amount of time I need to hear about twitter is a good thing.

Tip : Don't click on articles with the word "Twitter" in the name, will cut down the amount of time you need to hear about it dramatically.