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August 17, 2012

Twitter announces stricter guidelines for third party app developers

Twitter’s change is designed to give the company more control over third party apps.

By Tineka Smith

The microblogging service plans to release version 1.1 of the Twitter API in the next few weeks with aims at creating a more uniform platform.

The updated rules have stricter authentication requirements and new per endpoint rate-limiting. In the new version, authentication is a must for every request to the API.

"Currently, in v1.0 of the Twitter API we allow developers access to certain API endpoints without requiring their applications to authenticate, essentially enabling them to access public information from the Twitter API without us knowing who they are," said Michael Sippy, director of consumer product at Twitter.

Developers who are using OAuth when performing API request will have their authentication tokens transferred to the new version but those not using OAuth have until March 2013 to update their application.

Those building new Twitter applications will be allowed a maximum of 100,000 users to start and must work with Twitter if they want to raise the cap on that number.

Apps that that already have 100,000 users will be allowed as much as 200,000.

Twitter’s new app restrictions have caused an outcry from the developer community as they are likely to cause push new users to Twitter’s own apps instead of third-party applications.

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Twitter, however, says that the new restrictions are being implemented to prevent misuse of its API.

"There are many applications that are pulling data from the Twitter API at very high rates (scraping, bots, etc.) where we only know the IP address of the applications," said Sippy. "To prevent malicious use of the Twitter API and gain an understanding of what types of applications are accessing the API in order to evolve it to meet the needs of developers, it’s important to have visibility into the activity on the Twitter API and the applications using the platform."

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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