Twitter’s New API Clamped Down On Third Party Clients; What Does This Mean For Tweetbot For Mac Alpha?

In an attempt to ensure a ‘consistent experience,’ Twitter has changed the rules in version 1.1 of their API. This rule change includes a cap of users per 3rd party client (normally at 100K users). This isn’t a one-at-a-time limit but a per-user limit. That means if someone installed a 3rd party Twitter client like Tweetbot, and then uninstalled it, the token would be spent. (Unless they made sure to revoke their token.)

Twitter's New API Clamps Down On Third Party Clients

Tweetbot mascot

This cap is why Tapbots has revoked the link for the Tweetbot Alpha client for Mac. If users installed the app, logged in with multiple accounts, and then uninstalled the app without revoking access, the tokens would be burnt. The situation is such that Tapbots will still be releasing Tweebot for Mac for sale in the near future, but they’re antsy about releasing a free beta under the current situation.

The limit in version 1.1 of Twitter’s API for each client is 100K tokens (or double the current number of users, whichever is higher). After reaching 100K users, permission to access additional users must come directly from Twitter. After a million user tokens have been registered, Twitter will require the developers to work with the company ‘directly.’

Twitter's New API Clamps Down On Third Party Clients

The iPhone client for Tweetbot

My guess is this would involve a licencing fee, which would be bad for freeware Twitter clients. The fact that these rules seem to encourage multiple alternative clients versus one big client makes me question what Michael Sippey means by a ‘consistent Twitter experience.’ It’s interesting this is happening when the question of Twitter’s magnetization has come up in publications such as Forbes.

At the end of the day, the core issue isn’t going to be limited to Tweetbot. Would you miss alternative Twitter clients? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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