Tweeters checking emails over the weekend were no doubt all a-twitter over the second major announcement to come from the company in just two weeks. Twitter turned to email, ironically, to inform users they would be making, “two important updates that will impact how you interact with Twitter applications.” We look at the updates and how they’ll impact your tweets, after the jump.
While the online world has focused their attention on the interface changes announced by Twitter just last week, the company is also rolling out other important changes that could impact users even more. The company sent a weekend email to more than 140 million users announcing changes to its 250,000 applications-strong Application Programming Interface (API). Affected will be everything from desktop apps like TweetDeck to websites like TweetMeme and mobile apps like Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Blackberry, according to the company.
The first change concerns user privacy and actually already started last month when the company began requiring applications to use “OAuth” to access Twitter accounts. OAuth is a technology that enables Twitter account access without password prompts, meaning users no longer have to enter their password for Twitter applications and the applications cannot retain users’ passwords for future use.
Twitter app users may be enjoying these updates already, including the ability to use applications as usual after changing their password and the convenience of being able to both see which applications they have authorized and removing the ones they no longer use at http://twitter.com/settings/connections.
The second change, an expanded URL wrapping service, looks to be as much of a benefit to the company as it will be a convenience for users. The service, known as t.co, will wrap links in Tweets so they are easier to read and instantly check the sites for security issues before forwarding users on. While this provides an extra layer of security for users, it will also give Twitter more control over its platform for advertising purposes.
As the new service is more gradually rolled out in coming weeks, users can expect to see simplified links that include both the domain name and part of the URL “so that you know what you are clicking on,” the company explained in the email.
All in all, both the just-announced app changes and the new interface seem to be steps in the right direction for the popular social networking site. Tell us, what do you think of the changes to Twitter?