Twitter aims to reclaim the experience, tightens rules for third-party apps

Popular microblogging service Twitter is clamping down on all the third-party client applications that duplicate the service's official apps, a statement from company developers said Friday.

Twitter platform lead Ryan Sarver issued a sort of "State of the Platform" announcement on Friday, which was essentially a warning for third-party Twitter client developers that Twitter intends to be the primary interface that all consumers use. Or, as Sarver put it, the "primary mainstream consumer client experience on phones, computers, and other devices." With that in mind, the Terms of Service for third-party developers has been changed.

"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," Sarver wrote. "The answer is no."

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"If you are an existing developer of client apps, you can continue to serve
your user base," Sarver continued. "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."

Sarver says this move is to create a "less fragmented world," with a consistent Twitter experience across all platforms, and then goes on to cite some Twitter applications in "key areas where ecosystem developers are thriving." These include Data tools like Klout and Gnip; publishing tools like SocialFlow, Social CRM, enterprise clients and "brand insights" like HootSuite, CoTweet, Radian6, Seesmic, and Crimson Hexagon. Also included in the list were value-added services like Instagram, Foursquare, Quora, and Formspring.

Notably absent from Sarver's list were any products from UberMedia like the popular client apps Twidroyd, UberTwitter, and TweetDeck that Twitter temporarily blocked in February. We reached out to Ubermedia for a statement on Friday evening, but the company had nothing to add at the time.

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