Twitter Tightens Restrictions on Third-Party Clients

By Beecher Tuttle March 14, 2011

Citing the need to offer a less fragmented user experience, Twitter on Friday made major changes to its terms of service, putting heavy restrictions on developers of third-party clients.

Ryan Sarver, the head of platform and API at Twitter, noted in a recent statement that the micro-blogging site is no longer interested in allowing anyone to develop new Twitter clients.

"Developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience," he wrote. "The answer is no."

Furthermore, Sarver issued a stern warning to developers of existing third-party clients, noting that Twitter will start holding them to "high standards" concerning privacy and the consistency of the user experience.

Sarver said that 90 percent of active users are embracing the company's official apps, but the remaining 10 percent seem to be confused by the "fractured landscape" that is offered by many third-party Twitter clients. He added that the purpose of the new guidance is to ensure that users are offered a seamless experience with Twitter and various tweet actions.

"For example, people get confused by websites or clients that display tweets in a way that doesn’t follow our design guidelines, or when services put their own verbs on tweets instead of the ones used on Twitter," Sarver wrote.

Twitter's concern over a disjointed user experience was the primary motivation behind purchasing Tweetie and the company's own official iPhone app, he added.

The move to regain dominant control over its platform comes just a month after Twitter suspended a handful of third-party applications after finding that they violated the company's API policies.

For developers of current third-party apps, the new policy is a clear threat to their existence. Eric Mill, the first to comment on Sarver's statement, said that Twitter can no longer boast a "welcoming" developer environment.

"All third party Twitter developers, no matter what they make, are now walking on eggshells, constantly at risk of offending Twitter's ideas of how users should interact with Twitter," he wrote.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More