Twitter Drops Ecosystem Hammer: Don’t Try To Compete With Us On Clients, Focus On Data And Verticals
For much of the past year, the Twitter ecosystem has been in a state of flux. Ever since Twitter bought Tweetie and turned it into their own native iPhone app, third-party developers have been wondering where this would leave them. Further moves by Twitter into Android, iPad, Mac, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and other spaces have only compounded some of this fear. So Twitter has taken some time today in their developer forum to talk a bit about the state of the ecosystem and give some guidance. It’s blunt, but necessary.
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 probably 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 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.
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