Twitter hands down New, Strict Rules for Third Party Developers

Twitter late Thursday handed down some strict new requirements for developers who leverage the microblogging service’s API. (An API is a tool programmers use to access functionality or data from someone else. Developers use Twitter’s API to get tweets, allow you to post tweets, and so on.)

The new rules Twitter developers must adhere to touch on three specific areas: every API call must authenticate itself; certain API calls will be more limited, while others will now be accessible more frequently; and—most significantly—third-party Twitter apps will be subject to significantly more stringent limits on what they can do and how they can grow.

Twitter’s move to clamp down on how third-party developers can use its APIs is nothing new; there’s plenty of precedent. But just because the changes aren’t surprising doesn’t necessarily mean that users shouldn’t be at all concerned.