Twitter lays the hammer down on third party clients

Sun, Mar 13, 2011


TechCrunch reports:

Specifically, Platform lead Ryan Sarver has a fairly lengthy outline of Twitter’s line of thinking with regard to third-party clients and services. And while there’s a little bit of dancing around the topic at first, it quickly gets very clear: third-parties shouldn’t be creating straight-up Twitter clients any further.

Sarver notes that Twitter views a “consistent user experience” as very important to them. And it’s something they’re going to hold third-party developers to a very high standard to maintain. But they don’t want them to mimic Twitter’s own experience with their native apps in order to do this. They’ve updated the API Terms of Service to reflect all of this.

“Developers have told us that they’d like more guidance from us about the best opportunities to build on Twitter. More specifically, developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no,” Sarver writes very matter-of-factly.

“If you are an existing developer of client apps, you can continue to serve your user base, but we will be holding you to high standards to ensure you do not violate users’ privacy, that you provide consistency in the user experience, and that you rigorously adhere to all areas of our Terms of Service. We have spoken with the major client applications in the Twitter ecosystem about these needs on an ongoing basis, and will continue to ensure a high bar is maintained,” he continues.


2 Comments For This Post

  1. Sky Says:

    “Sarver notes that Twitter views a ‘consistent user experience’ as very important to them.”

    Unfortunately, my two favorite Twitter experiences are far from Twitter Inc.’s current vision as implemented by their in-house client. On the iPhone I really like Reportage and wish WhereCloud would continue developing its “radio tuner” metaphor.

    But my favorite is seeing what happens to a Twitter feed when it meets Flipbook on the iPad. The combination crystalizes Twitter as the world’s best news feed, with front end editorial and publishing handled by software. In my opinion, Flipbook has a better business model for Twitter Inc. than Twitter has on its own. I do however think that Twitter’s @Anywhere initiative is promising.

  2. Sky Says:

    Oops, that’s supposed to be ‘Flipboard’.

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