Twitter’s new API restrictions spark online protests and Change.org petition

occupy twitter protests against new api rules bird cage largeTwitter’s recently announced and dramatic changes to its API for developers seems to have — putting it lightly — made a few people angry. Mashable was the first to take notice, citing CEO of Box, Aaron Levie’s, recent tweet, “Twitter’s API has more rules than North Korea.”

He’s not the only tech-inclined individual to kick up a fuss either. Various developers, tech editors, and users of Twitter have begun using the hashtag #OccupyTwitter to indicate their general displeasure with Twitter’s restrictions of third- party apps. The new restrictions limit applications recreating the traditional Twitter experience (think Echofon or Tweetbot) to 100,000 users. Those apps with 100,000 or more users already are only allowed a 200 percent increase in users.

The creater of Klouchebag, Tom Scott, wrote a blog post on Friday explaining exactly what he thinks of Twitter’s new rules. Specifically, he targets Twitter’s desire to start “squeezing out third-party Twitter clients” and requiring a “Sign-in with Twitter” button for web services that use Twitter’s API.

“For me, the immediate effect of this is that my Klout parody Klouchebag, along with a few other things I’ve designed, will die,” Scott wrote, though he thinks the little blue bird will survive.

“Twitter will go on just fine without Klouchebag. They’ll go on just fine without third-party apps when, sooner or later, they start to turn off access to them.”

Nova Spivack, CEO of Bottlenose.com, has a different opinion on the future of Twitter. Mainly, he doesn’t think it will survive without the third-party developers that helped it flourish. One of the first to start using the occupy hashtag, Spivack has created a petition via Change.org to convince Twitter to maintain its promise to be open source. 

As of right now, the petition has 838 supporters with 162 needed. The petition begins with a plea for Twitter to rethink it’s recent decisions:

“We, the undersigned, urge you, Twitter, not to betray the trust and goodwill of your ecosystem of millions of developers and users. And we urge you to clarify your intentions for your APIs and the huge ecosystem of third-party apps and services that rely on these APIs to connect to Twitter, right away.”

Only time will tell whether the petition will gain any traction and get Twitter to take notice of the disgruntled tech community that helped it grow and like Spivack writes, perhaps Twitter is simply becoming a “scary bird of prey.”

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