In early September, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey posted a note to developers asking for feedback on how the network could better serve them. From the post: We want to know what additional materials you need from us to help you build products, boost distribution and expand your reach. It looks like Twitter has taken this feedback into account, and has rolled out a number of new features for developers based on their responses.
One of the main developer requests was a centralized issue tracker. Twitter has now launched a dedicated Issue Tracker, hosted on its new developer portal, which will replace the existing Google Code Tracker.
Another piece of feedback was a clear policy on API changes. Twitter will now give developers a minimum is 30 days advance notice before ‘sunsetting’ anything. For more broad, sweeping changes, Twitter says it will be flexible with developers and give them as much time as possible.
Rate limits are a big issue for Twitter developers and the company says that it permits 350 requests per user (oauth_token) per hour if you’re making authenticated calls and 150 per hour against the calling IP address for unauthenticated calls.
The goal is to scale usage of the API with the growth of a developer’s user-base and as they bring on more users, they will get greater access to the APU. Twitter also said that it is committed to push Site Streams, which will allow apps to receive real-time updates for events such as mentions, follows, timelines, and more, out of beta by Q1 of 2011.
Twitter promises to be more communicative overall with developers and especially help third-party developers work through authentication issues using oAuth.
By investing in creating new tools and features for developers, Twitter is clearly making a more concerted effort to work with third-party developers. In the past, there have been come miscommunications and it’s wise for the network to start listening to what developers want and need. In March, Twitter basically told developers to avoid competing with them on native clients. It’s not that Twitter doesn’t want developers to build off their platform, they just don’t want developers to build clients that mimic Twitter’s own services. As we’ve written, this is business, not personal. Regardless, it’s good to see Twitter taking actions to smooth things over with developers.