Friday, April 30, 2010

Twitter Officially Sux

So if you're a Twitter developer and you've been anywhere near me in the last month then i would have chewed your ear off about the travesty that Twitter are about to pull.

I'll keep it simple but basically Twitter are changing the way 3rd party developers applications work with the Twitter API, not content with just filling holes or buying out the competition they have implemented something called oAuth.

The way i'm going to describe it is technically not correct BUT it works something like this;

In the past the way MyPostButler used to connect to the Twitter API was using the end users Twitter account username and password.

If a specific user did something wrong then twitter had the option/ability of banning that user (which is the way it should be), not the accounts for every single user of the entire application installed base.

Now they are forcing ALL applications to use something called "Oauth" - what this does is that each application now has a "key", so when i use MyPostButler to connect to the API now i have to use the "Twitter username+the password+ the application key" (like i said technies, it's not entirely correct the way i'm explaining it BUT near enough).

So i guess about now you are what.

Well here lies the rub, Twitter at any time can turn off the "Application key" so even if you an end user have purchased an application and did nothing wrong Twitter are able to with one single keyboard stroke turn off the applications entire user base.

So lets say Twitter purchased an Android client tomorrow, and then they decided no other android client should work with their API apart from probs, just kill all of the "application keys" being used by the competing android clients and their entire userbase is switched off in one hit.

So why do i care?

Well about 9 months ago Twitter sent me a Cease and Desist notice (basically threatening to sue me) because they didn't like how i was letting end users access their API - at the time i said i'm using the API within your guidelines limits (eg you cant send more than 250 DM's a day, you cant follow or unfollow more people than twitter allow anyone using a common browser etc etc) so my reply to them was see you in court.

In the end they kind of ignored and stopped returning my phone calls after about 3 weeks of back and forth with the lawyers and i kept selling the MyPostButler application the same way i always did.

With oAuth - they wouldn't have even bothered, Twitter could just come in to the office in the morning and "turned my entire user base off" with a single key stroke by deleting my application key.

So herin lies the rub - if Twitter are going to put themselves out their as some great information super highway.... how can they pick and chose what kind of car i drive on that super highway?

I mean they are now "storing tweets in the library of congress" for peats sake - this is verging on a public utility almost.

How would you feel if Steve Jobs had the right to remotely destroy any Apple laptop with a keystroke because you wrote something bad about him he didn't like even though you paid good money for your laptop?

So as of this date i officially stop developing Twitter applications.

I officially herby proclaim Twitter Officially Sux and I'm moving to Friendster posts only (joke).


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