Twitter has certainly damaged its reputation among developers this year, the hight of which happened quite recently when the company’s Rules of the Road were shared. Now, Twitter has officially released the latest version of it’s API, v1.1, solidifying many of its statements, while elaborating on others.
Apparently “based on feedback after the original blog post,” Twitter says it is only looking to limit a “small set of clients”:
The 100,000 user token limit applies only to the small set of clients replicating the core Twitter experience. It does not apply to the majority of other applications in the broader ecosystem.
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The above statement might make it look like the developer community has over-reacted. The problem is, it doesn’t explain many of Twitter’s other, recent controversial actions, like revoking friend-finding privileges from both Tumblr and Instagram.
Here’s the bottom line: Twitter doesn’t want anyone replicating the core Twitter experience. If you’re doing something else, like revealing interesting stats or expanding what’s possible, you’re safe — for now. Otherwise, get ready for problems.
At this point, many developers are assuming the worst, and since all of their labor can so easily be destroyed at Twitter’s disgruntled whim, I don’t blame them. Of course, there’s always risk when developing atop another company’s API, but Twitter now feels especially risky.
As we recently wrote, this perceived attack on open competition in the Twitter client marketplace has now prompted developers of these apps to reach out to the FTC to ask them to look into the issue.
The tension has yet to settle and the odds are it wont end well for 3rd parties looking to tap the popular platform. Twitter may still have a very successful future ahead of it, but no matter what that future involves you using the service in only they ways it intends — making things far less open.