In an expected move, Twitter has announced new rules for its developer community that will make it difficult for some of the larger third-party Twitter clients to continue to tap into the Twitter API.
Announced on Twitter’s developer blog on Thursday, the stricter API guidelines were explained by Twitter’s director of product Michael Sippey.
The actual blog post is quite technical, as it is written for developers. However, the basic sense is that Twitter is tightening up access to its API so that it can regain control of its product and user experience.
Following the technical description of what developers can and cannot do under the new guidelines, Sippey points to the upper left, lower left and lower right quadrants in the following image as an example of what types of developers are still “safe”:
Sippy singled out apps like Tipsy and DataMinr as good examples of lower left businesses that they support. Social CRM providers like HootSuite, Radian6 and Sprinklr, as well as influence measurement service Klout are also on Twitter’s “good” list.
However, Sippey pointed to Tweetbot and Echofon as “traditional” Twitter clients that don’t provide much other than an experience that mimics Twitter.com – not a good sign for these and other clients.
Twitter has been slowly edging out third-party apps that conflict with what it sees as its core business for some time. It bought out the popular TweetDeck client and transformed it into a more Twitter.com-like experience, and created its own image sharing service that has now relegated the likes of TwitPic and Yfrog to barely-used status.
There’s no word yet about which apps will be cut off because of the stricter API guidelines, but you can bet there are some big changes coming to the Twitter ecosystem.
(Man holding sign image via Shutterstock)