If you have integrated social media into your web site, you’ve probably added your Twitter feed. Not only do a few short tweets add live, new, accessible content to your static web site, the Twitter API has famously been one of the most accessible APIs out there, making it easy for people to use it to meet their specific needs.
On June 11, version 1 of Twitter’s API—the only API we have ever known—will be retired and replaced with version 1.1. Many of the functions that you used in the old Twitter API will no longer work, and, depending on quickly your Twitter applications are updated, you may even receive HTTP 410 errors that notify you that the requested service is no longer available. Here are a few big changes to watch out for when the Twitter API version 1.1 goes live:
OAuth for All
In order for an application to access the API, you will need to use OAuth to confirm its identity. The days of accessing Twitter’s API anonymously are over. The new API also limits access to certain number of requests per hour, to stop spammers and other abuse of the system, though certain apps may be able to make more authenticated requests than was possible before.
Display Requirements, not Guidelines
Under the old API, one could take tweets and reformat them. With the new API, one has to adhere to Twitter’s display requirements, which includes linking Twitter user names to their profiles and displaying options for retweeting, replying, and favoriting. If one violates these requirements, and Twitter finds out, they might lose access to the API.
Developers Must Work With Twitter Directly for API-Intensive Apps
Most of the changes to the Twitter API are made with a single goal in mind—increasing Twitter’s control over how applications access user data. While the new API won’t break immediately for major apps—those that have more than 100,000 users—if they double their user base they will have to get Twitter’s permission to continue to access the API. If you’re using a third-party application to display Twitter on your website, or to access it for your social media work, you should be ready for major changes to come down the pike in the coming months.
Twitter’s new API marks a major shift for the social media platform, so it’s important to double-check how you use Twitter before their old API goes extinct on June 10. For even casual users, Twitter is an essential part of the daily media diet, and when the new API is here, you don’t want to miss a tweet.
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Photo by André P. Meyer-Vitali