Twitter’s Director of Consumer Products announced some March 2013 changes on its blog, which has not been received well by developers. The most important change to come will be about frequency of calls the API will be allowed to make. These caps on calls will be per hour and an obligatory authenticity check whenever a call is made for the database. The simple translation is that some Twitter based apps will be limited in how often they can work and the user will be required to log in more often.
Another change will be to limit the size of an app’s user-base. Current apps are allowed to grow to 200% of their current allotment, but additional increases will require Twitter’s approval. This development is to serve Twitter two ways. It keeps the official Twitter app as the dominant platform, since it will be unaffected—exempted from—the quotas. The second use for Twitter is as a way to hedge against a coming explosion in growth of the social network.
The initial impulse for the internet marketing firm is to think of this as a decline in Twitter’s future ubiquity as a social network. Limiting developers seems like an automatic way to turn a contemporary service into an anachronism. However, this change will not limit most uses of Twitter. Even most APIs that are on a web page allowing users to tweet the story will remain unaffected because they do not alter the way Twitter formats content, which is one of the ways to bypass the coming caps.
This change will, however, create some potential problems for the social media agency. Some services that are increasingly popular for digital marketing, like Storify, will be affected. Those services will fall under the cap and that may kill their future growth unless they make changes to come into compliance with Twitter’s rules for the road for developers. This change may also increase the effort involved in a social media agency’s efforts to distribute information. Some popular programs like Tweetbot and Hoot Suite may also be limited by these caps requiring a transition to Twitter’s official app. The Twitter app, however, cannot broadcast across several social networks at once. The social media marketing agency will need to figure out if these platform will be affected and how to correct if so.