Twitter Updates API Rules, Tightens Screws On Developr Apps
August 17, 2012

Twitter Updates API Rules, Tightens Screws On Developr Apps

John Neumann for - Your Universe Online

Microblogging service Twitter is beginning to flex its muscles and an updated API puts developers on notice that it wants to ensure that developers are “providing the best Twitter experience possible."

One big change in the API restricts developers, who create new Twitter apps, will be capped to a maximum of 100,000 users. Existing software with more than 100,000 users will be allowed to double their user base before hitting Twitter´s cap, writes Christopher Williams for The Telegraph.

Twitter wants to clean up how tweets are distributed and presented by gradually taking control after enjoying rapid growth with loose rules allowing all sorts of services to reuse its content.

Developers will now have their application certified by Twitter if they are building applications that will be pre-installed on “mobile handsets, SIM cards, chipsets or other consumer electronics devices” to “providing the best Twitter experience possible”. Applications that aren´t certified risk having their API keys revoked, essentially rendering the application useless when it ships.

Twitter may also be seeking to limit the number of users these third-party tools can have. Its last Rules of the Road update says that developers who need a large number of user tokens will have to work directly with Twitter to acquire them.

The company does acknowledge that some third-party developer apps are already past these new limits and is willing to work with them, but only to a point. When they grow to 200 percent of their current size, they´ll need to first seek permission to the API, reports Michael Lee for ZD Net.

This limit has been set at 100,000 individual tokens, however, Twitter has stated that applications that already have more than this limit will be able to stretch this to 200,000, so long as the application is compliant with its Rules of the Road, Twitter´s name for its API Terms of Service.

After the 200,000 limit, developers will not be able to add additional users without Twitter´s permission, but they will be able to maintain their application.

Going forward, Twitter is explicitly telling developers not to focus on traditional Twitter clients and syndication. Instead, developers are being urged to focus on other markets for their apps and services, reports Christina Warren for Mashable. This mirrors advice Twitter gave to developers back in March 2011, focus on projects that are not traditional Twitter clients.

Although Storify and are mentioned as falling into the upper-right quadrant, Ryan Sarver, director of platform at Twitter, clarified that those two services are examples of what types of activity Twitter wants to see moving forward. Ostensibly, that means that pure third-party clients, such as Tweetbot, Echofon and Twitterrific are out of luck.