As Twitter has outlined in its Twitter APIs platform roadmap, they are committed to providing the platform access to developers whose products and services make Twitter a better place. However, recognizing the challenges facing Twitter and the public — from spam and malicious automation to surveillance and invasions of privacy— it is taking additional steps to ensure that its developer platform works in service of the overall health of conversation on Twitter.
Twitter introduced a new way for all developers to request access to Twitter APIs, along with upcoming changes to increase accountability for creating apps and engaging with content and accounts on Twitter at high volumes. These changes enable the social networking platform to have more visibility and control over how developers use our platform and public data from the people using our service and are intended to help address spam and platform abuse and keep the Twitter service safe and secure for everyone.
We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.
— jack (@jack) March 1, 2018
A new app registration process
Twitter’s new developer account application process – which was initially launched in November included case reviews and policy compliance checks, as well as new protections to prevent the registration of spammy and low-quality apps. With this feature being introduced, henceforth all new requests for access to Twitter’s standard and premium APIs are required to go through this process.
Here’s what these changes mean for developers:
- Now, anyone who wants access to Twitter APIs should apply for a developer account using the new developer portal at developer.twitter.com. Once your application has been approved, you’ll be able to create new apps and manage existing apps on developer.twitter.com. Existing apps can also still be managed on apps.twitter.com.
- Eventually, all developers with existing access to our APIs will be required to complete a developer account application in order to maintain their apps. They will be provided at least a 90-day notice before enforcing this requirement. Twitter may opt to retire twitter.com before enforcing that requirement; in that case, they will ensure developers have access to manage their apps on developer.twitter.com, even if developers have not yet started the application process.
- When applying, all developers will be required to provide detailed information about how they use or intend to use Twitter’s APIs so that we can better ensure compliance with our policies. You can help expedite your application approval by providing complete details up front. Applications submitted with incomplete or insufficient information may be delayed while further information from a developer would be requested. Applications that do not comply with Twitter’s policies will be rejected.
- Following application approval, you may be required to undergo additional, more rigorous policy reviews if you change your app’s use of Twitter’s APIs or request access to additional products or features, including the ability to post content to Twitter frequently or at high volumes (see below).
- Twitter is limiting the default number of apps you may have registered by a single developer account to 10. Developers who need to register more than 10 apps — for instance, to enable client-specific products which require distinct apps — can request permission using the API policy support form. If you already have more than 10 apps registered, you can continue to use them as long as they comply with the rules but you won’t be able to register new apps until you either request permission for additional apps or delete unused ones.
Also Read: Twitter bans underage user accounts
New rate limits for POST endpoints
Alongside changes to the developer account application process, they are introducing new default app-level rate limits for common POST endpoints, as well as a new process for developers to obtain high volume posting privileges. These changes will help cut down on the ability of bad actors to create spam on Twitter via Twitter APIs, while continuing to provide the opportunity to build and grow an app or business to meaningful scale. These changes only impact a small percentage of active apps as of now but will apply to all apps that create Tweets, Retweets, likes, follows, or Direct Messages.
Here’s what’s changing:
- On September 10th, 2018, Twitter will be adding new default app-level rate limits that will apply to all requests to create Tweets, Retweets, likes, follows, or Direct Messages. This change represents a significant decrease in the existing rate of POST activity allowed from a single app by default. Any policy-compliant developer can maintain existing levels of access or gain elevated access through a new request process.
- The new default limits for each endpoint are outlined below and will apply in addition to existing user-level rate limits for these actions. By default, an app (across all of its users) will be limited to:
– Tweets & Retweets (combined): 300 per 3 hours
– Likes: 1000 per 24 hours
– Follows: 1000 per 24 hours
– Direct Messages: 15,000 per 24 hours
- The platform will remove the default app-level restriction for any apps that have a valid need for increased access, returning access to the same level allowed today (user-level rate limits only). Developers will need to submit a request and their details will be reviewed details before granting increased access. They may ask for clarifying information as part of this process (for example, confirming that specific features of a product are fully compliant with the Automation Rules).
- To make this change minimally disruptive, Twitter is proactively conducting policy reviews of potentially impacted apps and will contact eligible developers with instructions about how to request elevated access so that their apps are not affected on September 10th. For contact, please verify that the email address on the Twitter account linked to your app is up-to-date and has been confirmed.
- Going forward, as apps approach these rate limits, they will continue to proactively review and contact developers with instructions about how to request elevated access. These ongoing reviews will help avoid disruption for compliant developers, as well as help developers more quickly identify and address any behaviors that are non-compliant with our policies.
- You can request additional information about this rate limit at any time using the API policy support form. If you are getting ready to launch an app that is likely to exceed these rate limits and want to request a review in advance, please reach out using the same form.
Reporting bad apps
Finally, Twitter is introducing a new option for people to report suspected violations of our platform policies to us for review. You can use the “Report a bad app” option in the Help Center to report uses of our APIs which produce spam, invade user privacy, or otherwise violate the rules.