September 21, 2012
IFTTT And Twitter Break Up, But Why?
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Twitter continues to choke out its partners as it makes moves to tighten the reins on its API and slowly herd everyone towards their mobile apps and Web site.
Twitter began making this push earlier this year, first removing the ability to publish updates to LinkedIn from Twitter, though users can post to Twitter through LinkedIn.
Later, Twitter began to constrict and tighten against Instagram, removing the ability for users to find their Twitter friends on the photo sharing service.
Tumblr was the next to have their microblogging services strangled by Twitter, as they, too, were barred from accessing the API to allow their users to find their friends.
Yesterday, another popular web service announced they, too, would be removed from the good graces of the Twitter API, though it appears not as a result of the new changes which has been responsible for killing LinkedIn, Instagram and Tumblr features recently.
Linden Tibbets, IFTTT´s CEO let his users know about the news in an email yesterday. “In recent weeks, Twitter announced policy changes that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter´s data,” wrote Tibbets.
“As a result of these changes, on September 27th we will be removing all Twitter Triggers, disabling your ability to push tweets to places like email, Evernote and Facebook. All Personal and Shared Recipes using a Twitter Trigger will also be removed. Recipes using Twitter Actions and your ability to post new tweets via IFTTT will continue to work just fine.”
IFTTT works by allowing users to create and share “recipes” for a series of web automations. For example, a current recipe available on IFTTT scans a user´s Twitter feed for pictures of the Mars Curiosity Rover. If Curiosity takes a picture of its arm, a lasered rock or a self-portrait, IFTTT will grab said picture and send it via email to the users´ inbox.
IFTTT works with a number of web services and can even be used and activated with SMS and phone calls. (Another recipe, entitled “Text to escape” rings your phone when you send an SOS SMS to the IFTTT servers.)
Next week, however, all those recipes created which involve Twitter in anyway will stop working, removing some very convenient functionality for all IFTTT users.
According to a TechCrunch piece, IFTTT may have been in violation of Twitter´s API for months, meaning this change has nothing to do with Twitter´s recent moves to slowly isolate themselves as they cut ties with partners.
At the close of Tibbets´ email, he writes: “These Twitter policy changes specifically disallow uploading Twitter Content to a “cloud based service” and include stricter enforcement of the Developer Display Requirements.”
In Twitter´s existing API regulations, (regulations which have stood before they began cutting partners off) they´ve restricted exporting data from Twitter to the cloud or some other data source, which is exactly how IFTTT works.
It´s no secret Twitter wants to be mostly alone in this world, delivering content from hand-selected partners via their own channels. The changes they´ve issued this week are proof of it.
Until they finally strike out on their own, we´ll continue to see announcements such as this one from IFTTT. Though they might not have been in direct violation of the new, hotly contested API changes, their still having to remove a handy service which many have come to enjoy. As Twitter moves ever forward, more and more people will have services such as these removed, leaving a very angry Twitter constituency with nowhere to vent.