Twitter just posted details about the upcoming updates to its API and the big news is this: Twitter will be limiting the amount of users that can use third-party Twitter apps. Basically client apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific now have a Twitter-enforced ceiling on how many users it can have. It's Twitter walling in and limiting every other Twitter app not made by Twitter.
User caps for third-party Twitter apps will be based on the current number of users that the third-party apps already have. For x amount of users, a third-party Twitter app can now only support twice as much, or 2x, amount of users for the rest of the app's existence. It basically means once a third-party app like Tweetbot maxes out on its user count, Tweetbot won't be able to accept any more new users. Here's the word from Twitter:
Additionally, if you are building a Twitter client application that is accessing the home timeline, account settings or direct messages API endpoints (typically used by traditional client applications) or are using our User Streams product, you will need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens.
We will not be shutting down client applications that use those endpoints and are currently over those token limits. If your application already has more than 100,000 individual user tokens, you'll be able to maintain and add new users to your application until you reach 200% of your current user token count (as of today) - as long as you comply with our Rules of the Road. Once you reach 200% of your current user token count, you'll be able to maintain your application to serve your users, but you will not be able to add additional users without our permission.
And with the limited ability to only gain a finite number of new users, third-party developers are left to wonder if it's even worth developing Twitter apps at all or if it's best to just let Twitter do Twitter. Twitter is basically giving all third-party Twitter apps one last giant crate of food today but letting them determine how to ration out the pieces before they all die tomorrow. If you're a fan of Twitter apps not made by Twitter, enjoy them while you can. [Twitter via TNW]