Is Twitter a Reliable Service to Build Your Business Around?

Twitter is one of the hottest web-services from a developer’s perspective. There has been a slew in app development based on Twitter. Nowadays, people are developing more side projects than ever and many other innovative concepts are being realized, many of them are based around Twitter. In times when Twitter comes to be known as “the microblogging service”, it is limiting access to its services alarmingly and gradually.
In the past one month, Twitter has imposed two restrictions on its API. While the first one was quite indicative of their API scalability limit being reached, this second limitation is more of a warning. In the first limitation, Twitter declared whitelisting of apps and refused to take any further requests for whitelisting.

Whitelisted apps are given more priority in API calls, and can access more data per API call. A shutdown of further requests for this service indicates that Twitter is not able to serve API calls across all applications and this is a desperate attempt to maintain a reliable service. Already whitelisted apps will still retain the whitelisting and function seamlessly.

Business Insider has some valid points on this change at Twitter. It outlines three reasons for the changes.

  • Scalability issues
  • Changes in the API
  • Saturated development ecosystem

Out of these three, scalability issues are something we know exist for all web-services. It can be solved sooner or later. However, a saturated developers ecosystem and Twitter’s favoritism for some specific apps (whitelisted ones) is alarming.

Coming to the second limitation, Twitter already has a date (31st March) for the shutdown of the GeoAPI for public use and this kills many geolocation apps based around Twitter. I am satisfied that I did not base my current geolocation projects around Twitter. In changes like these, the developer is always the one facing the heat.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.