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Twitter Apps Are About to Get a Lot More Basic – New Rules Shun Developers

Twitter has dropped the ball on app developers, issuing a document that basically gives the middle finger to anybody who wants to make a third party Twitter app, or an app that links in to the social site.

As part of a blog post, Twitter’s Michael Sippey has explained the changes they will be making to its API, which is a tool developers will use in order to interact with the Twitter service in their apps. Twitter recently withdrew its API from Instagram shortly after it was acquired by Facebook, and now it’s got its eye set on making the lives of other app developers difficult.

Going forward Twitter will limit how many users can actually use a third party Twitter app to just 100,000 – if an app is already at that limit, which many such as Ubersocial, Seesmic and Tweetdeck are well beyond, Twitter will double the user limit but stop at that.

The document also proposes that sharing via Twitter will almost be outlawed, unless you’re using the official Twitter app for your chosen platform. A segment from the document reads; “No other social or 3rd party actions may be attached to a Tweet.” We’re still awaiting clarification on this, but it looks to us as though Twitter will ban the ability to post images, videos and links via any 3rd party app.

There are currently around 5-10 very successful Twitter apps available on both Android and iOS, offering something different – and usually something more – to the native Twitter app on each platform. Twitter seems fed up of this, and is presumably imposing these rules and limits in a bid to drive people to using its own apps.

Twitter will now also require developers to request permission to use its API in order to make an app. Their blog also warns that if an app doesn’t meet its restrictions – which used to be called ‘guidelines’ – it has the right to revoke an app’s access to Twitter, thus shutting out thousands of users.

Developers will have six months to get their apps in line with the new regulations once the API is released.

What do you think of Twitter’s new rules? Are they a step too far?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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