Oh dear. Twitter to third-party clients: drop dead (via Technologizer)

Posted on: March 12, 2011

Harry McCracken has raised concerns about Twitter’s recent message to third-party developers:

“developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no.”

Ryan Sarver, Twitter

As a fairly early adopter of Hootsuite I can honestly say I would not have used Twitter nearly as much – nor found it half as useful, without that particular third-party client. Twitter’s message states by way of explanation:

“our user research shows that consumers continue to be confused by the different ways that a fractured landscape of third-party Twitter clients display tweets and let users interact with core Twitter functions”

Ryan Sarver, Twitter

I can only imagine this ‘confusion’ is mainly in relation to Twitter re-tweets which are widely despised by proficient users. It still seems strange that Twitter paved the cow paths by making usernames clickable for RTs and mentions, and then dismantled this incredibly useful convention with their later re-tweet buttons. This, again, is cleverly circumvented on the Hootsuite platform, which allows users to easily generate an original RT.

Twitter has bloomed because of the freedom developers have had to develop tools around it. If it pushes back too hard against them, this may sound its own death knell, as new, open-source alternatives such as are waiting in the wings.

Privacy and other concerns pointed out by Twitter, however legitimate, may be addressed via restrictions and measures that protect users without closing off opportunities for the developer community around Twitter to keep innovating. This announcement looks to be a step too far away from what is good for ‘the eco-system‘ – and its inhabitants.

Twitter to Third-Party Clients: Drop Dead Twitter isn’t wild about third-party Twitter clients. In a new message to developers, Ryan Sarver of Twitter’s platform team dwells on the downside of Twitter clients that aren’t controlled by Twitter. saying that they can be confusing and may not follow good privacy practices or adequately hew to the service’s terms of service. What Twitter users need, Sarver says, is a consistent experience across multiple platforms. So the company doesn’t want … Read More

via Technologizer

Twitter fail picture by Christine Taylor


2 Responses to "Oh dear. Twitter to third-party clients: drop dead (via Technologizer)"

Oh dear, really not looking good! Well, the way I understood it is they just don’t want their (nearly trademarked) terms of “@mention”, “retweet” and “tweet” to be diluted like some services started to.
Anyways, they just realised “gotta make money now” and this is what it results in. Well, to be honest in a way understandable for a business, but not a lot of fun for app developers for sure (us 😦 )

Well I guess the service you have developed doesn’t represent the ‘mainstream’ consumer experience and is more relevant for professional users. But the Twitter announcement implies any application that may be used to manage twitter interaction as a whole is now against its terms of service…

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