Twitter would be the worst boyfriend / girlfriend ever.
Twitter is not that into you… if you are a “traditional Twitter client”
In the latest missive on their developer blog (written by Michael Sippey, who coined the phrase “core Twitter consumption experience”), Twitter hims and haws that it’s not you, it’s them. They want to eliminate the traditional clients (calling out Tweetbot and Echofon specifically), and intend to eliminate them by starvation rather than just pulling the plug. From the blog post:
“We will not be shutting down client applications that use those endpoints and are currently over those token limits. If your application already has more than 100,000 individual user tokens, you’ll be able to maintain and add new users to your application until you reach 200% of your current user token count (as of today) — as long as you comply with our Rules of the Road. Once you reach 200% of your current user token count, you’ll be able to maintain your application to serve your users, but you will not be able to add additional users without our permission”
“…’traditional’ Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Echofon. Nearly eighteen months ago, we gave developers guidance that they should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” And to reiterate what I wrote in my last post, that guidance continues to apply today.”
The irony of delivering a consistent social experience for users is that the native Twitter applications while functional, are generally far inferior to many of the products currently on the market. Users aren’t clamoring for Tweetdeck or (cough, gag) the Twitter for iOS app that continues to send you pop-up notifications after you “disable” the feature.
I also suspect that great Twitter clients such as GrabInbox, who should be categorized as Social CRM applications because of its similarity to HootSuite, may be cut off. HootSuite and Radian6 just happen to have access to the Google Plus read / write API which Twitter may see as a potential competitor.
If Twitter were completely transparent they would have written a different letter
We want to get paid. We intend to go public and we need to show investors that we can make money. If we don’t we will be another Facebook.
We are going to make it difficult for you to access Twitter by any means except for our native applications. Hootsuite and Radian6 are still cool since they have read/write access to Google Plus, but pretty much everything else you love could potentially be cut. Ironically, Google Plus could have saved your Twitter experience by opening their API, but they didn’t.
We know that platitudes like “Defend and Respect the User’s Voice,” may seem contrary to our actions, but you must treat everything we say like a fortune cookie. Instead of saying “in bed” after everything we say, just insert “if users access Twitter from our native, non-third-party apps.”
For example” Defend and respect the user’s voice… if users access Twitter from our native, non-third-party apps.” or “we’re working to deliver a consistent Twitter experience… if users access Twitter from our native, non-third-party apps.”
Godspeed and buy lots of Twitter stock …if we go public (wink),
Sincerely, Anyone at Twitter.
What’s next for Twitter?
A lot of people (specifically early Twitter adopters who have moved to Google Plus) wax philosophical about how things on Twitter have changed. Maybe this will be the impetus for a whole new generation of users to lament the glory days of Twitter.
In any case, it seems like Twitter still wants to be friends with the third-party apps they are alienating. After all, Twitter is letting them keep their stuff.