Since announcing API restrictions, Twitter has required that developers put in a special request should they hit the 100,000 user limit. And third-party app Tweetro had a legitimate reason to request additional API tokens after hitting its 100,000 user limit on Windows 8 OS. After reaching out to Twitter however, Tweetro hit a brick wall, and the developer’s request was denied.
Tweetro, which was the only available Windows 8 Twitter client, quickly become popular after the OS’ release and needed the extended availability. Twitter, for the record, has yet to introduce a native Windows 8 app (it’s obviously available via browers, but there are no apps for download). Tweetro’s popularity, however, was the beginning of its fall from grace. The third-party Twitter client was decisively pulled by Tweetro from the Windows Store until its team could figure out a solution. Twitter responded to Tweetro’s request via email, which Windows Observer republished, that bluntly rejected Tweetro’s request. The email stated:
“As you know, we discourage developers from building apps that replicate our core user experience (aka “Twitter clients”). We know that there are developers that want to take their passion for Twitter and its ecosystem to unique underserved situations. As such, we have built some flexibility into our policy with regard to user tokens – which went into effect September 5, 2012.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that your service addresses an area that our current or future products do not already serve. As such, it does not qualify for an exemption.”
Tweetro was forced to take extreme measures and resort to a pay-to-use business model that will be implemented in the coming weeks. Nonpaying users will be required to pay for the service for continued use, and this should reduce the number of users to under the 100,000 token limit. Tweetro has not revealed how much it will cost. Lazyworm Applications, the company responsible for developing Tweetro, and its co-founder Atta Elayyan responded to the controversy with the following statement provided to Windows Observer:
“As much as we’d love to continue supporting Tweetro as a free app, it simply doesn’t make sense for us under these new restrictions. We hope that people understand our situation and continue showing us their support as we’d love nothing more than to continue delivering the best possible Twitter experience on Windows 8 … Even if it’s only accessible to a very limited number of people.”
Developers reaching the 100,000 token limit are gravitating to the for-pay route, like Tweetbot has done with its Mac client, which costs $20.
If you pick apart Twitter’s rhetoric, “it does not appear that your service addresses an area that our current or future products do not already serve,” you can probably assume the platform is hinting at its own native Windows 8 app. Until then, anyone wanting to download a free Twitter app for Windows 8 is out of luck.