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Twitter horrifies third-party developers with warnings of cutoffs

• Charles Arthur, The Guardian

Twitter has horrified third-party developers by hinting that it will in future limit their size by preventing them having more than a certain number of users, as part of a wide-ranging shift in the company’s strategy – apparently part of a growing attempt to generate money from adverts.

In a post on its developer blog, Twitter’s director of consumer products Michael Sippey points to a number of changes that will be introduced from March 2013 for third-party access, including per-hour limits and obligatory authentication for calls to Twitter’s back-end database, and more significantly a change to its “rules of the road” for developers.

It is the latter which has stunned developers, who see it as trying to shut down the development of apps that let people access Twitter and which present the content slightly differently from the official apps or the website.

Sippey writes:

“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.”


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