Twitter Tightens Rules on Third-Party Apps

Posted by at 12:19 pm on August 18, 2012

Twitter has finally announced a tighter set of restrictions on its API for third-party applications. In an attempt to improve security and strengthen the company’s control over the service, the forthcoming API will require authentication for access to public information and impose a limit of 100,000 users for most Twitter client apps on various platforms.

“One of the key things we’ve learned over the past few years is that when developers begin to demand an increasingly high volume of API calls, we can guide them toward areas of value for users and their businesses,” Twitter director of product Michael Sippey wrote in a blog post directed to developers. “To that end, and similar to some other companies, we will require you to work with us directly if you believe your application will need more than one million individual user tokens.”

Some apps will be allowed to surpass 100,000 users, but only after receiving official permission from Twitter. Any apps that already reach more than 100,000 users will be allowed to increase their subscriber base by 200 percent before running into the cap.

Twitter has also converted its “display guidelines” into “display requirements,” requiring developers to adhere to a set of presentation rules. The requirements relate to linking usernames to profiles, displaying appropriate tweet actions, and properly scaling tweets for various devices.

The company has made several attempts to modernize and improve its popular service, filing lawsuits against spammers and enforcing its terms-of-service by shutting down violating apps. Popular third-party client TweetDeck was halted early this year, fueling speculation that Twitter was beginning to cull the herd, however service was later restored and the interruption was said to be necessary to patch a security vulnerability.

Version 1.1 of the Twitter API is expected to arrive within the next few weeks.

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