Twitter Gives Devs 6 Months To Display Tweets Properly, Use New Authentication and Rate Limits

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So Twitter is making updates to its API, and to prepare for that, it’s providing developers a preview of new requirements to access it. In an effort to create a “more consistent Twitter experience,” the company told developers that it is placing restrictions around how the API is used. With a new version of the API coming in a few weeks, Twitter announced the changes on its developers blog today. And it’s saying devs have six months to implement changes, or risk being shut out.

Prior to the changes, developers could access the Twitter API anonymously, without having to register or let the company know how it was using that data. Well, no more of that. Twitter says that to limit malicious use of the API, and to better understand the apps that are accessing it, the company will require every request to be authenticated.

Twitter is also changing the way it limits API requests. Before now, the company had a flat limit of 350 calls per hour, regardless of the type of app or the number of endpoints. Now, it’s created a sliding scale for API requests, so that apps accessing just one endpoint limited to 60 calls per hour, while those which use multiple endpoints will have more. Twitter will also have a set of “high-volume endpoints” around tweet display, profile display, user lookup and user search that apps will be able to access up to 720 calls per hour per endpoint.

Twitter is also issuing a number of requirements in how tweets will be displayed. This is to provide more consistent views around its plans to make media available inline with tweets, not just on its own site and apps, but third-party apps as well. For instance, Twitter will require apps to link usernames to the appropriate Twitter profile, show actions such as retweet, reply, and favorite, and scale the display of Tweets based on the device accessing them. It’s also requiring any pre-installed or pre-loaded Twitter clients on devices or chips to be certified by the company, and requiring developers who need a large number of user tokens to work directly with it.

For all the anonymous Twitter apps out there, the new requirements will no doubt strike a huge blow. For other developers, guidelines around what’s expected of them could actually help to clear up some uncertainty that’s lingered over Twitter for some time now.