Twitter Releases API 1.1, Says It May Include Ads Later

Three weeks after announcing its plans for a new API and associated developer rules, Twitter today formally released API 1.1 to developers.

Along with the new API, Twitter has also updated the API Terms (what Twitter calls its “Rules of the Road”) and display requirements.

In his blog post, Twitter’s Jason Costa went out of his way to clarify one of the developer community’s biggest complaints about the more restrictive API — the 100,000 user token limit. Costa says that will only apply to certain apps:

The 100,000 user token limit applies only to the small set of clients replicating the core Twitter experience. It does not apply to the majority of other applications in the broader ecosystem.

Twitter’s aim in tightening its API is to ensure a smoother and more consistent user experience across the many apps that integrate with Twitter. Most importantly, Twitter wants the experience of interacting with tweets to be the same whether the user is on Twitter.com, on the official Twitter apps, or one any of the many third-party Twitter clients.

Though many developers have voiced their anger/frustration over Twitter’s changes (but not all are unhappy), Twitter has logical and legitimate business reasons for wanting a consistent tweet experience: It needs that to better sell advertising and grow its business.

To that end, the API terms hint that Twitter may include ads in the future:

Twitter reserves the right to serve advertising via its APIs (“Twitter Ads”). If you decide to serve Twitter Ads once we start delivering them, we will share a portion of advertising revenue with you per our then-current terms and conditions.

At the moment, Twitter ads — Promoted Tweets, specifically — might appear in the company’s official clients, as well as in certain third-party clients like Hootsuite. That syndication agreement with Hootsuite and other partners has been in place since late 2010.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Social Media Marketing | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Advertising | Twitter: Business Issues

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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