Several days ago, Twitter announced a major change to it’s API:
More Control: Beginning today, we’re giving you more control over what information you share with third-party applications. Apps that you use to access your direct messages will ask for your permission again. By the middle of June, applications that do not need access to your direct messages will no longer have it, and you can continue to use these apps as usual.
Let me explain:
Currently, there are two forms of authorization that applications use to access Twitter: xAuth, and OAuth. The way xAuth works is, the application pops up a username/password field, you type it in, and you’re in. The way OAuth works is that when you want to access Twitter through a third-party application, you’re redirected to a web browser, and shown a screen similar to this one:
When you click “Authorize app”, you are now able to access Twitter through the 3rd-party client.
Prior to a few days ago, both xAuth and OAuth were equally as effective: they both resulted in the applications being able to access Tweets, direct messages, etc. But with the announcement several days ago, Twitter made a change that no longer allows 3rd-party applications access to DMs via xAuth. This is a major problem.
If you’ve ever used a Twitter client on the desktop, on your iPhone, or on a tablet, you know that you want the full experience—and DMs are part of that experience. For Twitter clients to be able to access DMs now, they will have to make the change to OAuth. This means that whenever you launch your favorite Twitter client, in order to login, you’re going to either:
- Be booted into a web browser to authorize the application
- Have a “built-in” web browser pop up right in your client, so that you can authorize it
As you can tell, this is far from an efficient user experience. It completely ruins the native feel of a Twitter client. But of course, Twitter’s own clients don’t have to abide by this new rule—they’re exempt. And guess what! Twitter has only given devs 2 weeks before they flip the switch—that’s less than the time it takes for the App Store to review an update, and publish it. (Coincidence, anyone?) So when the change goes live, many users are going to get frustrated with not being able to access their DMs, and desert their clients all together—most likely opting for an official Twitter client.
So all in all, it’s a really bad picture for developers. I could only come down to one reason why Twitter would be such [buttock]holes to developers: monetization. Twitter’s current main revenue stream is through ‘Promoted’ Tweets and trends. Companies will pay good money to have their Tweets and topics shoved into users’ faces, and these promoted items can only be shown via official Twitter mediums. Therefore, Twitter wants to eliminate all the competition, so it can maximize it’s revenue stream.
This isn’t the first change towards screwing developers over—it’s just one change in a long line of moves towards proprietary clients. It’s an ever-growing trend at Twitter HQ, and I hope it stops. It’s turning something great, into something mediocre.
Come on, Twitter. Grow up.
I decided to crack down and make a blog. Yeah, a blog. See, this is totally unlike me: I’m not the type to lie down on a couch and pour out my feelings to a stranger, much less an array of strangers (otherwise known as: the Internet). So, I’m not too keen on blogs. I like reading good ones, of course, but not writing them.
I’d tried blogging before, with the widely-popular WordPress. As you can imagine, for a first-time blogger, this was a nightmare. It was way too complicated. Blogging should be about you sharing your life as it happens, not sitting on the sidelines and waiting for something to happen just so you can blog. But then I found this awesome thing called Tumblr, and it made Blogging easy. There was no complicated setup, no messy options. Just create an account, and start blogging. I really like Tumblr; it’s a great service that’s sophisticatedly simple. And it just may get me into blogging.
Don’t expect any miracles, or new posts everyday, but just check back every now and then. Or, if you’re a Tumblr’r like me, just hit the ‘Follow’ button up there in the right-hand corner. You just might see my smiling face show up every now and then.