Twitter API Changes Leave Developers Feeling Hard Done By

Earlier we posted to our Twitter account and Facebook page a couple of stories about the changes Twitter is going to be making to its API that will affect third-party developers. The thinking behind the revisions has been explained by Twitter’s Director of Consumer Product, Michael Sippey, as aiming to “deliver a consistent Twitter experience”.

However, the guidelines will make it much harder for developers to build apps that don’t infringe upon what have been described by some as minor and vague rules. In his blog post outlining the changes, Sippey touched upon the subject of displaying Twitter’s information:

“If your application displays Tweets to users, and it doesn’t adhere to our Display Requirements, we reserve the right to revoke your application key.”

The reaction from developers to Twitter’s API changes has not been overwhelmingly positive. Marco Arment, the man behind popular reading service Instapaper advised developers who were building Twitter apps to “start working on another product”. In his blog post he went on to lament the vagueness of the changes by saying:

“Twitter has left themselves a lot of wiggle room with the rules… Effectively, Twitter can decide your app is breaking a (potentially vague) rule at any time, or they can add a new rule that your app inadvertently breaks, and revoke your API access at any time… Of course, they’ve always had this power. But now we know that they’ll use it in ways that we really don’t agree with.”

Are you a developer that this may affect? Tell us what you think about these changes and what effect it might have on what you do.