Less Room for Third-Party Twitter App Developers Due to Upcoming API Changes
Twitter recently announced some new changes that make it significantly more difficult and tedious to develop third-party software for the social network. It was previously known that Twitter was evolving its business model and changing its attitude towards developers for a while now but this recent announcement marks the first major shift towards a more closed social network. Many developers probably won’t see Twitter as a potential platform to build on anymore.
So what exactly changed? Along with a slew of new rules and restrictions that limit how apps such as Flipboard interact with Twitter, developers are basically being told to stop developing traditional clients such as Twitterific and Tweetbot. From now on, developers are being asked to work “with” Twitter before their apps can attract large user bases. The amount of times per hour an app can call on Twitter to retrieve new tweets has been greatly restricted and developers have a max user base they can serve. An example of this can be Tweetbot; if Tweetbot were to reach 100,000 users, no more users would be able to use the app until the developers got in contact with Twitter and make a deal with them.
The micro-blogging social media platform is saying that “tweets that are grouped together into a timeline should not be rendered with non-Twitter content such as comments and updates from other networks. This means Twitter timelines cannot be grouped together with any other information such as a stream of multiple feeds from different social networks. This is only one of the many vague restrictions and rules that developers will have to figure out through trial and error in the coming months. The thing that will probably deter developers the most is that Twitter can add more rules at any moment. This leads to less room for third-party developers with only a matter of time before there is no room for third-party consumer-oriented apps in the Twitter universe.