Twitter has issued a statement to its mailing list encouraging third-party developers to cease creating applications that use the Twitter API solely to duplicate the functionality offered by Twitter’s own official clients. Citing an effort to improve consistency of the Twitter user experience, the social networking behemoth is exercising more control over how its service is utilized.
Developers who already have an established audience, such as those who create such popular clients as TweetDeck and Seesmic, may continue developing their applications and supporting their user bases. However, developers are encouraged to cease creating new applications that duplicate existing functionality. With 750,000 applications in existence that already use the Twitter API, it is quite clear why Twitter wants to stop the tide of new apps and grab the reins of its users’ experience: it wants to own the user experience.
In the statement, Twitter noted that over 90 percent of its users are now using an official client rather than a third party one. In the past year, Twitter has developed official clients for the iOS, Mac OS X, Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry operating systems.
This new stance by Twitter flies in the face of the third-party developers that have helped build the service’s popularity and expand the user base greatly. It also shows the instability and uncertainty that can come from building a business based on a platform entirely controlled by another company that may have different business goals.
Twitter’s new terms of service are effective immediately.
Taken from MobileBurn