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Programming Social Networks Twitter

Twitter To Developers: Please Love Us Again ( 143

Twitter wants to fix its relationship with developers, it said Thursday. The company, which sold its developer platform to Google earlier this year, said moving forward it intends to be more transparent with developers and provide them with more insight. From a report: While some continue to call the end of Twitter (and others gave up on the product years ago), the company is prioritizing more tools for developers in order to grow the site. "These efforts represent a massive new engineering and product investment in the future of the Twitter API platform, and in our developer ecosystem," Andy Piper, Twitter's staff developer advocate, wrote in a blog post announcement. One of the steps involves creating an easier to use service overall. Twitter offers several developer products, including free APIs, services from data analysis group Gnip, and the enterprise-level Twitter API product. Twitter plans to simplify its offerings by releasing one way to get access to the Firehouse (access to all tweets in real-time), one way to access Twitter search, and one access for account activity.
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Twitter To Developers: Please Love Us Again

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  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @12:11PM (#54185679) Homepage

    Stop fucking around with the API and stop fucking around with access to it. You need to build trust and you can't do that when you change rules willy-nilly all the time.

    The reason why developers fled your platform is because you never let it stabilize long enough for people to do things with it. Then, if memory serves, you closed it. And then you sold it.

    So the question becomes one of why would anyone want to invest the time to figure the API and platform out if you're just going to pull the football away without warning?

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @12:14PM (#54185695)

    Twitter, the problem is a fundamentally different one: Why bother with you?

    Twitter was a very good platform to get points across quickly. You would say what you want and people could reply to it, could write short counterpoints to it, it was quite the place. A veritable "marketplace of ideas". And actually, the short format worked in the favor of this. Instead of writing an endless stream of words where the average reader's eyes glaze over somewhere in the middle (like, say, this wall of text here), you had to be terse and get your point across. Which allowed readers to quickly go down the list of replies and counterpoints, allowing a reader to get a really good grasp of a topic he was interested in and hearing many opinions, conflicting opinions that sometimes led to quite heated and interesting discussions.

    That time is gone. Now that you can't even be sure anymore that you get to hear everyone. With shadowbans left and right, and some people outright getting banned to "make a point against different views, I mean, hate speech". Hate speech? Disagreeing with someone has become hate speech now? Don't get me wrong, if someone said that group X should be strung up, I could at least see the point, but we're talking about people whose "crime" was to disagree with someone and make them drop out of their echo chamber.

    TL;DR: Twitter became irrelevant when not hurting someone's feelings became more important than hearing all sides of a story.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget that Twitter banned many developers from using the API, because they didn't like the purposes the developer had in mind. Law enforcement or government? Commercial and not an advertiser? Ban!

      Once you've kicked out the best paying and most reliable developers, why would anyone else bother with you?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yep. Had a project that was hoping to use Twitter to essentially do a quick and dirty damage assessment after natural disasters. (The idea was that people already tweet pictures of things after a disaster and they could be used to quickly determine areas that needed to be checked out more thoroughly.) It was government related, so Twitter banned us.

        Anything that isn't about invading people's privacy to try and sell crap isn't allowed on the Twitter API.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      The monetary value in Twitter was never in discussions, debates, or the latest celebrity selfie.

      It was in the fact that often news broke there first. Someone feeling an earthquake, or seeing a US assault on OBL's compound is announced there before it hits the news, and as such automated data mining and monitoring can reap great rewards, from trading, to being the first news person with a story, to targeted advertising based on an event, to better directed emergency response information, or nowadays, to inte

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why bother developing anything profitable and meaningful if Twitter can take one look at it, decide they'd like to steal the concept, change their terms and lock you out of their API then build their own version?

    • I agree that the shadow bans and such are really hurting Twitter. They certainly have curtained my use of it to an extent.

      But the reason for developers to bother, is that if they write successful apps that increase Twitter use, that gives them leverage to ask Twitter to stop things like shadow bans. If nothing else things like shadowbans would complicate an API or alternately make the API appear not to work (when it will not fetch messages that are plainly there or sharing a link with others fails becaus

      • But why risk it? I might develop something that Twitter doesn't like for some odd reason because it ... purple monkey dishwasher. And poof, gone it is.

        And please don't say that never happened. It did. More often than you could imagine.

        Why should I invest time and energy into a market that is so highly risky that the chances are pretty good that the moment it becomes successful someone gets "offended" by its very existence and it is going to be shut down?

        What you're dealing here is essentially the social med

        • And please don't say that never happened. It did. More often than you could imagine.

          Of course it happened. I know all too well, as I said in another post I had Twitter API ideas I have shelved in response to some of those issues.

          Why should I invest time and energy into a market that is so highly risky that the chances are pretty good that the moment it becomes successful someone gets "offended" by its very existence and it is going to be shut down?

          Because Twitter is still a really promising platform that co

          • It's not exactly that way for all of app development. If you develop an app for Android, you can be fairly sure that you will be able to run it in the foreseeable future. Hell, even with iOS there is a set of rules that you have to abide with, but if you do, your app will continue to exist.

            What we're talking about here is an app going *poof* for no other reason than Twitter saying "yeah, we didn't like it", without even providing an explanation what you did wrong.

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@gmai l . c om> on Thursday April 06, 2017 @01:19PM (#54186137) Journal
      It was a platform for people with a 10-second attention span. What could go right?
  • One big problem with the Twitter API that I'm aware of is the requirement of an OAuth "consumer secret", which I've mentioned before [].

    Twitter's implementation of OAuth 1 requires each application to sign all requests with a private key that an application's developer is obligated to keep secret even from the application's users. This is fine for a web application that runs on a server. But a native application, particularly one distributed as free software, can't avoid exposing its private key to the user. Twitter can and does revoke keys that leak []. Though most other services have switched to the more cookie-like OAuth 2 spec, which has an option to allow desktop applications to operate without a private key, Twitter has persisted in requiring this idiocy, which both the OAuth 1 and OAuth 2 RFCs discourage.

    Does this new announcement include a move away from a mandatory "consumer secret" for applications that run on a desktop or mobile computer?

    • This is some years ago, maybe things have changed but I think the data coming back from the API is what confused our users most. Since it wasn't the full fire-hose, the API results were often inconsistent. Sometimes tweets you'd expect to be there wouldn't show, sometimes there seemed to be whole swaths of data missing from more recent days, sometimes it was date ranges, or sometimes it was baffling random. We dabbled with Gnip but unfortunately the pricing was way out of our range. Gnip seemed to be mo
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @12:47PM (#54185937)

    To start with, Twitter did not sell off "their API". They sold Fabric which was a tool to help others with app development, not developer access to Twitter.

    Secondly, as far as I knew the number one hugest blocker to Twitter API use was Twitter not letting new developers have more than a tiny amount of allowed API calls, or rules around how much a client could write anyway (as the article alludes to). In fact there was a huge Kickstarter campaign [] that succeeded in part because this is one of the few developers on earth that has a key that allows them much larger numbers of users to post tweets.

    I personally have some fun ideas for Twitter use in apps I'd love to try. With access to Twitter via API being limited though, I will never put forth the effort into making them happen. So has Twitter (or all Twitter) finally let developers write REAL twitter clients again that any number of people can use?

    If not good luck and thanks for all the fish.

    • That was what did it for me. I wrote an application to let people see who followed you so you could decide whether or not you wanted to follow you back. It was a decent application and, if I put some work into it, might have been something many people used. Shortly after launching it, Twitter changed their API rules, vastly limiting the amount of times a developer could hit their API and how much data they could pull. My application, given it's tiny audience, wouldn't have hit that amount, but had it grown

    • Develop your client and distribute it without keys. Then each user of the application can register on Twitter as a developer, register his own copy of the client as an application, and paste the keys that Twitter issues to that user into the client.

  • Can't wait to see what they're gonna censor next !
  • I'm really looking forward to the launch of []. I've supported the project, which will release a mobile client and a backend that simply build upon open stuff like RSS (which everyone and their mother supports).

    Twitter doesn't have any attraction to me. It's just one big bucket of, well, of everyone. So as a consequence, it feels like I don't know anybody there.

    • by allo ( 1728082 )

      Use GNU social. Its ready and has a lot of users and it even looks like twitter looked in better times.

  • Things started going downhill when they started putting limitations on third-party clients, like only allowing a limited number of user API keys and not providing new features to third parties, like polls for example.

    Then after they did that, they slowly started making their official client worse and worse until it became unpleasant to use. If they ever kill off third parties like Tweetbot, that'll be the end of Twitter for me.

    I wish they'd go back to encouraging and supporting third-party clients. If they

  • Fuck Twitter.
  • LOL, that's rich... (Score:4, Informative)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @03:07PM (#54186895)

    Remember when Twitter shut down access to 3rd party access? [] [] [] [] []

  • Specific to developers: Do you really think mandatory mobile numbers on developer accounts will attract more developers? We do not want to give you number to share with your advertisment partners (as said in the ToS).
    Raise the api limits, give us functions to access ALL twitter functions instead of a limited subset, rate limit but do not limit the age of date which can be retrieved. 200 DMs and that's all? What do you think how people should implement for example an archive function, if you only get the mos

    • by allo ( 1728082 )

      Something i have to add:
      Get your banning right!

      Stop shadowbanning and throttling. If you do not have enough reasons to ban (or ban for a certain time) people, do not ban at all. Shadow Bans are a stupid concept, which only confuses people, what happend or if anything happend at all. Your service seems to be dysfunctional and the reaction is to see it as a broken technology. Be clear with your intent, ban people and tell them.

      I have one account, which posted updates about a security related site. It is shado

  • Twitter plans to simplify its offerings by releasing one way to get access to the Firehouse

    Are you certain it is not "firehose" instead?

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.