Twitter announced today, via it’s developers mailing list that developers should no longer attempt to make any sort of third-party clients for the service. They stated this is was because they didn’t want to confuse users with the differences that each client has.
Basically they just told their whole third-party client dev community they aren’t wanted anymore. Ryan Sarver, who sent the email, is a member to Twitter’s platform team, says that, “According to our data, 90% of active Twitter users use official Twitter apps on a monthly basis.” I’m not sure that is 100 percent accurate, in a 5 hour period today, only 35 percent of people I follow tweeted from one of their apps while 65 percent used an third-party app like tweetdeck, echophone, or twidroid etc. I’m not saying my numbers are spot on either as my sample wasn’t that large in terms of the whole twitterverse but it isn’t the numbers I want to get hung up on.
It’s the fact that they are trying to say they don’t want to confuse users, where in I think they want more people using their own apps. Remember when they suspended Uber Social and Twidroid apps? Especially since they bought Tweetie in 2010. They wouldn’t want that investment to be for nothing. Ed Finkler, a developer of the open source client Spaz, told Ars Technica, “Twitter started as a very dev-friendly service, but as supporting those devs interfered with the ends of their investors—making money—they have become less and less welcoming.”
I think twitter has gotten the popularity is has today because of third-party clients and their devs. And now they’re basically saying they don’t want any new competition. They have changed their TOS recently, and unlike in the past they are unwilling to discuss and negotiate with terms with devs who if they had a strong case could bypass some of the terms.
Could this be just one step on the path to no third-party clients at all? I sure hope not.
Source: Ars Technica