Twitter API v2 Officially Rolls Out

The social network introduced it last month but held off on deployment due to a security breach

Twitter's first public API was released in 2006 Twitter

Twitter API v2, the overhaul of the social network’s application-programming interface that was originally revealed July 16, was officially rolled out Wednesday.

The original plan was to roll out the first set of endpoints on the day Twitter released all the information about the first significant update to its API since 2012, but that was put on hold by a July 15 security breach that impacted several high-profile accounts.

Twitter said its teams used the additional time to add functionality to Twitter API v2, making it easier for developers to connect existing apps via the social network’s developer portal so they can get started immediately.

Developer applications that were already in Twitter’s queue were also reviewed to improve the experience for new developers who apply starting Wednesday.

The social network’s first public API was released in 2006, and it began building API access into new features with the intention of opening its platform and enabling developers to build on it.

The v1.1 API in 2012 added new requirements and stricter policies to curb abuse and protect the platform.

The next step, enabled by API v2, was an acknowledgement of the diversity found within Twitter’s developer ecosystem.

Twitter developer platform design lead Alyssa Reese explained in a blog post, “We’d been using a one-size-fits-all approach to developers that treated everyone like they had commercial intent. That approach was not serving people’s needs, and we needed tailored solutions for different types of developers.”

Twitter developer platform product lead Priyanka Shetty agreed during a July press call to unveil the details behind the new API, saying, “We know developers want flexibility. The Twitter API hasn’t addressed developer diversity well. Its pricing and access models are inflexible and limiting.”

The social network said the completely new foundation behind API v2 will enable it to add new functionality quicker and more efficiently, and it will give developers a cleaner API that is easier to use, with options including the ability to specify which fields get returned or to retrieve more tweets from a conversation within the same response, as well as access to features that were previously not part of the API, including conversation threading, poll results, pinned tweets on profiles, spam filtering and a more powerful stream filtering and search query language.

One of the biggest changes in the new API is the upcoming elimination of Twitter’s three different API platforms and experiences—standard (free), premium (paid, self-serve) and enterprise (paid, custom)—and the onerous process for developers when their needs expanded and they had to migrate to a different API.

All developers will now have the same options for multiple access levels and the ability to grow on the same API.

Twitter also plans to roll out new, distinct product tracks aimed at providing specific types of developers with the proper experience and support for their needs, along with a range of relevant access levels and appropriate pricing.

The Standard product track will be the default for most developers, with elevated access to be added in the future.

“We have a really strong belief in the good things developers have built with us in the past and will build with us in the future,” Twitter developer platform head of product Ian Cairns said during the July press call.

Also coming soon will be a track for academic researchers to use the Twitter API in efforts to understand the public conversation, as well as a track for developers that build businesses around the API, both with the options for elevated and custom access to relevant endpoints.


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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