Twitter has just introduced a few dramatic API changes.
For those unfamiliar with the term, the API is the set of entry points that third-party applications use to integrate with Twitter. In other words, this is what you use when you want to offer an application that works with Twitter data or users.
These changes do not really bother us because we don’t integrate with Twitter but I thought I would illustrate how an API and its license requirements actually shape the way you do business with the corporation providing the API.
Display Guidelines will be Display Requirements
Mmh, the title says it all. What was just recommended is now mandatory.
No other social or 3rd party actions may be attached to a Tweet.
This means that if you display tweets on your site or app, Twitter is the only provider of actions on these tweets. You can’t provide custom actions, especially other ways of sharing a tweet.
Tweets that are grouped together into a timeline should not be rendered with non-Twitter content. e.g. comments, updates from other networks.
That’s the ice on the cake. Don’t interleave Twitter stuff with data coming from other sources.
Pretty much everything in the Display Guidelines turns the whole thing into a read-only show of Twitter.
Of course, Twitter has to protect its brand, but isn’t the whole built on top of YOUR data? To me it’s just one big reason to support alternatives like app.net/. The other conclusion of this mess is: do NOT build a company or a product on top of Twitter, you might regret it.