Upcoming Twitter API Changes

I have always called the Twitter API the ideal system for developers: a generous API, flavored with excellent documentation, simply shocked my imagination a few years ago. Twitter was young then, did not know how to retweet, the introduction of advertising trends, photo galleries or its own shortener of links seemed like logical steps.

Today Twitter introduced some of the upcoming changes to the new version of the API . Otherwise, how to tighten the nuts is not called. Judge for yourself:

  1. All recommendations for the design of tweets in your services have become mandatory. With the new version of the requirements, tweets should not look like Twitter dictates. This means that, for example, you cannot display comments near tweets or allow you to send a link to a tweet on VKontakte, and you must also place the Twitter logo or follow button in the upper right corner. In fact, this innovation outlaws VKontakte (with their function of viewing tweets without switching), as well as any sites that collect and display custom pictures from tweets (Section 6b ).
  2. No application can work without OAuth authorization. That is, all our test requests or even api.twitter.com/1/users/show.json?screen_name=i_compman typed in the browser will stop working. In fact, a fairly small number of applications used this feature, mainly because of the strong limit on the number of allowed requests (150 per hour), but for one-time requests this feature was simply necessary. I doubt that this restriction will somehow affect the botnets and the activity of spammers, the situation is more similar to the one when a hand is cut off due to a sore finger.
  3. Limitations on the number of requests also underwent changes: if earlier 350 requests per user were allocated per user, then with the new version the restrictions will be individual for each type of request (endpoint). So, for example, tweet feed requests can be limited to 60 times per hour, but we can do user information requests up to 720 times per hour. In fact, this is the most harmless change, which, however, will affect every developer of Twitter applications. But at the same time, it is not clear why it is necessary to limit the request intensity to such small numbers: google allows millions of requests per day, and VKontakte does not exceed three requests per second (10,000 requests per hour).

Other changes are not so significant and affect a small part of developers, but a significant part of popular applications (TweetBot, Instagram, etc.).

Inventors of devices with a built-in client for Twitter (iPhone, for example) will be required to certify the preinstalled application for compliance with all requirements.

If you believe that more than a million people will be using your application, or if you already have a twitter client with more than 100,000 users, you will need to contact Twitter Inc. to get permission for further activities from them. This may mean that to continue recruiting the user base, you may be asked to include promoted tweets in the feed or to do a backflip every time a new user logs in to the application :).

The published document emphasizes that this is only part of the innovations that await us in version 1.1. After its release, we will have 6 months to change our applications, after which the current version of the API will be disabled.

At the very end of the document, the Twitter administration is trying to justify its actions by the desire to build a clean ecosystem around innovative applications that are aimed at working with business processes and analytics, instead of “occupied applications trying to imitate or replace the user experience set by Twitter”.

Further in the text, Tweetbot and Echofon are directly mentioned - the main competitors of the Twitter application for iPhone, the war with which has been going on for a long time, so we can say with confidence that such a step on Twitter is taken solely from selfish motives. I bet that soon we will be required to show advertising tweets to our users.

Of course, no one ever doubted that Twitter had full control over its API and would manipulate it, but we always hoped that the service would develop only for the better. Now, there are big doubts about this, because if you are ready to rewrite and tighten the rules on Twitter due to an interloader with several popular clients, you can easily imagine how one day your application will be outlawed.