Twitter made a statement on its official developer mailing list that devs should stop making Twitter client applications. The reason they've given for this 180 degree turn is that they want their user experience to be more consistent and they want more control over how their service is presented to users in all contexts. This is disheartening for developers as Twitter was once a very dev friendly company and it was developers who helped promote the service. The message stated that well established developers who have already made 'successful' third party apps will be allowed to continue, but new developers should refrain from developing apps.

Killing the third party

Killing the third party

Ryan Sarver, of Twitter's platform team, states that 90% of Twitter users is now using applications built by the company as opposed to a third party application like Tweetdeck or Seesmic. He also says that the differences in experience that many third party applications provide is 'confusing' for users. These changes prevent third parties from displaying information from alternate services alongside Twitter's APIs. This is to prevent developers from adding their own trending topics and follower recommendations in their third party apps.

Twitter, right now, has native applications for iOS, Mac OS X, Android and Blackberry. With its acquisition of Atebit's Tweetie app, Twitter had already started a competitive collision between itself and third party developers. Last week, when Twitter updated its iOS application with the “Quick Bar” that created dissatisfaction with iOS users, many of them turned to third party apps. Blocking third party apps is seen as a strategic move for Twitter to use the Quick Bar for advertising and mandating that users view that advertising.

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