Ryan Sarver, a member of Twitter’s platform/api team, took a few minutes today to address concerns about the Twitter ecosystem and in particular its announcement on Friday that developers shouldn’t develop new twitter clients.
The gist of what Sarver said is this; Twitter won’t be asking anyone to shut down just as long as they stick within the required api limits. New apps can be built but it doesn’t recommend doing so as it’s ‘not good long term business’. When asked why it wasn’t good long term business, Sarver said because “that is the core area we investing in. There are much bigger, better opportunities within the ecosystem”
Sarver insists this isn’t Twitter putting the hammer down on developers but rather just “trying to be as transparent as possible and give the guidance that partners and developers have been asking for.”
You can see a number of the tweets in full below.
In a conversation on Twitter’s development discussion group, Sarver and Twitter’s Lead of Application Services Raffi Krikorian explain things in a little more detail.
For one, Sarver defines a Twitter client as:
“one that recreates the twitter experience, or the “primary” experience. So I don’t consider Instagram or Foursquare in that group. It’s apps that render a user their timeline. Apps that post into Twitter are great and explicitly called out at the bottom of the email. “
Secondly, he specifically mentions this new ‘guideline’ only refers to consumer apps. Sarver says:
“we are specifically talking about consumer clients. HootSuite and Seesmic are focused on a more enterprise or marketer audience as I called out at the bottom of the email.”
Raffi also chimes in with:
“the API is open — i personally love seeing all the innovation around getting content into twitter (/1/status/update). there is a cafe in france who’s oven tweets whenever its done baking. that uses the platform to get content in there. there was a NYU project that enabled your plants to tweet when they needed water. that uses the platform to get content into twitter. then there are people who match tweets to context. seeing twitter in action with a television show, or a newspaper article, or a conference, or a band — that’s how people really understand and get twitter. they see it through the lens of what’s happening in the world. what @*rsarver* said, effectively, was building a business around *simply*rendering /1/statuses/home_timeline was probably-not-the-best-thing-to-do. please go still innovate. just don’t bet money on simply making an API call to grabbing a user’s home_timeline and rendering it. that’s thinking too small, and @*rsarver* is telling you that.”