Twitter API Changes and Developer Protests!


Twitter recently announced some major changes in its API. The changes would be implemented from March 2013. The policy changes that Twitter announced through a blog post clearly make the road ahead difficult for third-party Twitter applications.

twitter API changes

Major Twitter API for v 1.1 include

  • Authentication required for every endpoint call
  • Pre endpoint rate limiting
  • New Developer rules of the road

Let us try and understand each of these changes in detail:-

Authentication required for every endpoint call

Twitter currently allows Third party applications access to some of the API endpoints without requiring authentication.

This means that applications can access public information on Twitter without letting the company know who they are. With the new version, every application would be required to authenticate the users before accessing information.

Those applications that are already using OAuth will have no impact from this change, but others should make changes to their applications before v1.1 is applied.

Pre endpoint rate limiting

Currently, all the applications can make up to 350 calls per hour. This approach of the treating all the applications in a same way would end with the implementation of v1.1. Pre-endpoint calls would be limited depending on the type of application. So an application that only accesses one endpoint may be more restricted,while the applications that use multiple endpoints may have lesser limits.

Twitter also says that most individual API endpoints will be rate limited at 60 calls per hour per-endpoint. This will surely put severe limitations especially for more popular twitter apps using one end-point.

New developer Rules Of the Road

Major changes are being made to the Twitter Developer rules of the road. Display Guidelines would be replaced with Display Requirements.

Pre-installed client applications would be required to verify themselves by Twitter and the number of users per application is being limited to 1, 00,000. If any application has already exceeded this number, than they would be allowed to grow up to 200% of their current size.

Clearly, time is going to be difficult for Twitter Third Party application developers. Protests have already been started by the Developer community.

A petition filed on by Nova Spivack, CEO of says,

“Twitter, what kind of bird are you becoming? Are you still that cute little bird that everyone loved, or are you becoming a scary bird of prey?”

Similar protests are visible across the world. Many companies like KloucheBag fear that their site may shut down due to the changes. While most developers are freaking out, some are staying calm and are assuring themselves that things would be OK.

What results this move by Twitter brings would be seen when the new API is implemented. Till then, keep voicing your opinion to us!!!

Way back in 2010, Ankit Agarwal had written an article about exactly this scenario…very interesting read especially in present situation…

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