Twitter’s new API release is certainly not something that would make third-party developers happy. Rather the new restrictions and limitations that Twitter plans to implement with the new API have attracted the ire of angry developers.
We recently reported that Twitter has revealed the changes it will be implementing in version of 1.1 of its API. Most of the changes in the API tend to restrict the access of third-party developers. Naturally, this has angered the developers and third-party initiatives built on Twitter, many of which were fundamental to Twitter’s growth in its early days.
In the official blog posts about the new API, Twitter went to the extent of singling out different third-party ventures such as Echofon and Tweetbot and stated that they weren’t very welcome to use Twitter’s API. The response of the developer community was varied, from disappointment to anger to simple indifference.
The creator of Instapaper, Marco Arment said, “I sure as hell wouldn’t build a business on Twitter, and I don’t think I’ll even build any nontrivial features on it anymore. And if I were in the Twitter-client business, I’d start working on another product.”
Any third-party app that is making use of Twitter API is essentially risky business. That is because Twitter controls the way and the extent to which its API may be used. That puts the third-party developers at Twitter’s mercy. Tweetbot’s creator, Paul Haddad, said, “Whenever you build on top of someone’s platform there are lots of benefits and lots of risks. I think most people who work with other platforms (or) partners realize that things can change at any moment and hopefully are able to plan around that.”
The co-founders of State Design, a Twitter aggregation service, were far angrier when they said that “unfortunately we now run rampantly afoul of Twitter’s impending display guidelines.”
While Twitter is fairly the King of the world of micro-blogging and a social media heart-throb, it may be a downward trajectory if it is unable to sustain a fairly wide developer base on the long-run. On the competition is an up and coming venture, App.net, which is far more open than Twitter and seems to be attracting the interest of a lot of developers. Can this spell a change in Twitter’s fortunes in the coming days?