TWITTER MIGHT VERY well just have p’d off a large chunk of its developer network by issuing a statement today telling developers to stop developing custom Twitter clients. Apparently, at least according to Twitters own statistics, 90 percent of its users rely on Twitters own official clients and all the clients that display tweets in a different way than that approved by Twitter are apparently causing a lot of confusion for mainstream Twitter users.
Yes, we use Twitter here at S|A, but we can’t say that we’re the biggest fans of Twitters official clients and for anyone using Twitter for any kind of work related use, there are far better options out there. This apparently makes us fall within the 10 percent of users that don’t care about Twitters official client guidelines, but if you consider there are 140 million tweets a day, there got to be a few more like us.
However, this is not the way that Twitter sees things as to them, at least according to Ryan Sarver, the platform/API leader at Twitter, consistency across Twitter clients is the most important aspect of Twitter. He goes on to say that this is the key reason why Twitter bought Tweetie and why the company has developed official apps for various mobile platform or at least worked together with the various device makes to make a client that meets Twitters design guidelines. The company claims that the top five ways that people access Twitter is via official apps.
Apparently Twitter has performed what they call user research which has lead them to the conclusion that “consumers continue to be confused by the different ways that a fractured landscape of third-party Twitter clients display tweets and let users interact with core Twitter functions.” This seems almost silly and very restrictive by a company that has thus far very much relied on the developer community to gain as much popularity as it has and if people really and truly are that stupid, then they shouldn’t be allowed to use a device that offer the option to Tweet in the first place.
Twitter has as such put the lid on development of new Twitter clients, although existing ones will be allowed to continue to access Twitter, for now. One has to presume that Twitter has somehow gotten to the conclusion that its service is mostly accessed by consumers and as such it should be dumbed down as much as possible not to confuse consumers. We’d suggest that Twitter did a few more rounds of so called research and actually looked at the number of companies that use their service and the need for a different ways that various users want to access data on Twitter. Being able to easily filter out unimportant information is one feature that Twitter sorely lacks in its clients for example and something you can only get via third part clients, but this doesn’t even seem to be part of Twitters considerations.S|A
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