Tweetro hits token limit and shows what’s wrong with Twitter’s new policies

We mentioned Tweetro recently when we interviewed developer house LazyWorm Apps who are also behind the Windows Phone app MetroTube. The Twitter client is meant for Windows 8 and runs quite well on RT devices like the Surface. Unfortunately, it has also stopped working.

That’s not the fault of the developers though but rather due to in part to two reasons (1) it’s very popular (as is the OS) and (2) Twitter has a 100K token cap.  Long story short, Twitter implemented new changes to how their API is used for third-party apps and it's causing problems--if an app goes over that "token limit", they get shut down and stop working.

Confusion has reigned for details and even when they are suppose to go into effect but what you need to know as a consumer is simply that devs are getting the short end of the stick. Twitter has basically declared war on third party devs, which is why you’re seeing them exit the market—they can no longer customize functions and “hack” on features, nor can they get too popular. Differentiation is dead.

This would almost be excusable if Twitter even had an official Windows 8 application. They do not and instead are just “starting work” on it. Meanwhile, struggling developers cannot even get their apps out or if they are a hit, risk having it completely crippled.

Tweetro may eventually go “premium” and charging for the app, forcibly limiting sales for the company (much like Tweetbot on OSX, which fetches for $20). The developers of Tweetro have reached out to Twitter directly for an explanation and to try and resolve this issue for their users. In the meantime they recommend that users

“…refrain from uninstalling the app, removing accounts from within the app or revoking access from Twitter as there is no method accessing OAuth in its current state.”

Hopefully some good will come of this. In the meantime, hold tight. This isn't the first time Twitter has broken their system and it won't be the last.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I accidentally signed out 2 days ago... Ah
  • Damn, that was the best Win8 Twitter app too.
  • #TRUTH
  • Twitter don't want all the traffic from third party apps. What's wrong with that. Maybe their servers are getting smashed! Isn't that why instagram doesn't allow third part apps to access their servers? Not saying it's right, but some control may be necessary.
  • Its all for monetization. Twitter wants apps to show tweets in very specific ways and limits app tokens to prevent apps from getting around promoted tweets and ads. It is, frankly, complete bullshit.
  • how is it "bullshit", twitter can do whatever they want with THEIR api's including dictate how tweets are shown from THEIR network as well as limit access to THEIR servers.  If a developer wants to make an app that accesses another companies apis then they have to take into consideration the fact that they don't have control over said apis.  If they don't it's their own fault.
    If you wanna try and stand on a giants shoulders, know that they can flick you off anytime they want.
  • Yes, you are correct, twitter can do whatever they'd like with their API. However, twitter has gotten where it is today because of the apps that have been built, and a service that relies on content and a large network shouldn't limit the entry points so severely when content and eyeballs are key to their monetization strategy.
  • What twitter should and shouldn't do is for them to decide.  I think they have done a pretty good job with their "monetization strategy" so far by the looks of things.  And to date whoever is making decisions has been doing a pretty good job, so I'm pretty sure they'll keep letting that person or persons make decisions.  Posting their decisions are "bullshit" because they want to control the free ride 3rd party developers think they are entitled to is ridiculous.  You have no clue what ultimately led to this decision.  It could be that 3rd parties "getting around promoted tweets and ads" cost more than they're worth.  Without some sort of analysis you can't determine how this effects their "monetization strategy".  As long as the changes are across the board and not directed at a specific platform then their shouldn't be any complaining.  
  • I hate the "they can do whatever they want to do" attitude that pops up whenever someone criticizes a company. Yeah, they CAN, but it doesn't mean that it's smart or well intentioned. We also have a right to voice opposition as well as discontinue using said product or service.
  • Lots of eyeball don't matter unless Twitter can monetize them. If 3rd party apps get around Twitter's promoted tweets and ada, then Twitter makes nothing. All those eyeballs are doing is using bandwidth. I love when I can use apps that don't show Twitter's ads. But it is what it is. Business is business. I hope that Twitter becomes more lenient as long as devs are willing to pass ads on to consumers.
  • All I'm saying is that twitter's implementation of these changes is ham fisted. Why restrict clients when you control the server? That's day one of client-server development: never trust the client. If clients get out of line, then deal with them by revoking keys. No one wins when a platform decides to restrict clients. If a client is getting around ads, then bounce them. What benefit does limiting users have? None, except to force users to an 'official' or 'partner' client, at which point, why even have an API?
  • Exactly.
    Why not have a dialogue with devs for popular apps and solve this in another way?
  • Wrong! Instagram allows access to their servers, the only thing they don't allow is posting new photos.
  • I always wondered why Lazyworms with all their talent went for a twitter app. Sure it's a great app but there's always too much to deal with twitter. I wish they had gone with a rss or podcast app (there's no podcast support in WP outside the US).
  • I'm screwed.  Thought I had it installed.  I guess not.  
  • OMG..we have no choice...twitter always have issues with 3rd party apps!! SMH
  • Isn't the bigger issue here the fact that there is NOT currently an official Twitter app for W8/WP8? Now THAT'S what I'd be pissed about. Its one thing to limit access by third party apps but to not have your official app available so people can use that instead is just bullshit.
  • Bull***t if you ask me because their official Twitter app for Windows Phone is a joke compared to iOS. So I've been big fan of the third party software developers giving us wonderful options in terms. How do they not have one for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is beyond my understanding.
  • Their official app is the best right now. It's on par with the Twitter Android app that I use to use.
  • There's an official W8 app coming, it was announced at Build.
  • In wake of another Twitter spectacle for Microsoft users, im gonna close my a account. This is just ludicrous how they keep causing trouble instead of fixing them for Microsoft services.
  • It's not their job to bow and cater to MS. They are not causing trouble for MS, they are trying to sew up their own issues.
  • Do you work at Twitter or what?
  • I have to say I do enjoy using twitter. That said this policy is absolutely assinine. All this is doing is telling devs that made twitter what it is to F off. Meanwhile, users are getting a sour taste left over from all the shennaigans Twitter is doing. It just makes me want to use the service less and less.  So go ahead Twitter do all this and watch your base leave in droves. Serves them right.
  • Wasn't there a 3rd party app for twitter before twitter itself made a mobile app?
  • If only twitter makes a GOOD APP for windows... 3rd party apps wont be even there in the first place... -_-
  • Totally bullshit and idiotic from twitter!