Twitter App Makers Trying to Figure Out the Future

Lex Friedman, writing for Macworld:

Macworld has spoken with several developers behind third-party Twitter apps — or at least, we’ve tried. Some developers are notably hesitant to speak on the record, lest they incur Twitter’s wrath; the fear seems to be that since Twitter is now exerting more control than ever over access to its API — which developers leverage to make their Twitter apps work — that irking Twitter too much might result in a developer’s API access getting revoked.

If you worked at Twitter, wouldn’t this give you pause? Does Twitter really want its developers to fear them? Fear breeds resentment.

Explaining his optimism, the developer referenced existing developers’ ability to double their user bases, and highlighting the fact that “Twitter left the door open” for developers by saying that, once they hit their user caps, they would need explicit permission from the company. That’s better than saying that once you hit the cap, you’re entirely out of luck — though Twitter hasn’t said under what circumstances, if any, it would grant third-party developers increases in those user caps.

“I don’t know what the end-game is, and I’m not sure [Twitter does] either,” the developer said. “We’ve all known for a while they don’t want third party clients; I’d love to know why.”

Wouldn’t we all?

Tuesday, 21 August 2012