New Twitter API Seeks To End 3rd Party Twitter Clients

Twitter has posted an update on its developer blog today and detailed some of the changes coming with V1.1 of the Twitter API. Unfortunately, developers aren’t going to be to happy with the company after it launches. That said, things aren’t looking got at all for any type of 3rd party Twitter application. Thus, many of them will find themselves not working and even buggy. As far as we know, they aren’t completely banned, yet.

Some 3rd party Twitter clients like HootSuite looks like it’s in the clear with the company, but Twitter I think wants to make it extremely obvious that it no longer wants 3rd party clients to exist. As to why they are doing this to the development community, I don’t know. Once the new API version launches, there will be a numerous amount of new limitations on how 3rd party clients and applications can access Twitter. Here are some of the most important limitations that you need to be aware of:

Display Requirements: “…linking @usernames to the appropriate Twitter profile, displaying appropriate Tweet actions (e.g. Retweet, reply and favorite) and scaling display of Tweets appropriately based on the device. If your application displays Tweets to users, and it doesn’t adhere to our Display Requirements, we reserve the right to revoke your application key.”

User Token Maximum: “… we will require you to work with us directly if you believe your application will need more than one million individual user tokens.”

Maximum API Call Limit: “… Most individual API endpoints will be rate limited at 60 calls per hour per-endpoint…. There will be a set of high-volume endpoints related to Tweet display, profile display, user lookup and user search where applications will be able to make up to 720 calls per hour per endpoint.”

API Authorization: “… we will require every request to the API to be authenticated.”

Those are the really big limitations that are coming to the 3rd party Twitter clients soon. There’s more than that though, and boy is it a kicker. It basically promises to end all major apps of this kind out on the web. Take a look for yourself:

Additionally, if you are building a Twitter client application that is accessing the home timeline, account settings or direct messages API endpoints (typically used by traditional client applications) or are using our User Streams product, you will need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens. (emphasis from AP)

That requirement right there will mean the end of any 3rd part Twitter client with more than 100,000 users. There are no exceptions either. That is, unless Twitter decides to remove of the requirement. Still, Twitter wants to get rid of all of these clients and apps, and they say that outright too:

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. And to reiterate what I wrote in my last post, that guidance continues to apply today.

Guess what else? They even designed a handy dandy graph for everyone (graphs always make everything better)! Everything in the upper right portion of the graph is not OK, at least, according to Twitter it isn’t.

That said, be ready to wave goodbye to any popular Twitter client that isn’t on good terms with Twitter or isn’t the official Twitter client. At the very least, we’ll still have HootSuite and TweetDeck. These changes aren’t going to happen just overnight though. The blog indicated that developers will have around 6 months from the release of API 1.1 before version 1.0 is completely obliterated in March of 2013.

Have hope though. It’s very possible that Twitter will decide that the backlash they will get from this decision will be far, far worse than expected. Thus they will give up the idea of killing all 3rd party twitter clients. Okay, maybe not, but they might just be willing to change a few things. Possibly. Hopefully. Oh Twitter, why do you gotta be like this?

Let us know what you think about this new Twitter API. Is it necessary or will it ultimately reduce the popularity and use of Twitter? Let us know in the comments!

source: Twitter Development Blog