Why Twitter's new token limits caused Tapbots to remove the Tweetbot for Mac alpha download link

Recently the Tweetbot for Mac public alpha download was pulled from the Tapbots website, leading to questions and concerns about its status and its future, given Twitter new, 3rd party client-hostile API changes. To address all of this, and further explain what Twitter API 1.1 means for Tweetbot for Mac, developer Paul Haddad took to the Tapbots blog:

Twitter’s latest API Changes means now we have a large but finite limit on the number of user tokens we can get for Tweetbot for Mac. We’ve been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around this limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with a solution that was acceptable to them. Because of this we’ve decided its best for us to pull the alpha.

Haddad enumerates many of the new limitations and realties facing Twitter developers when it comes to tokens, all centered around the August 16, 2012 cutoff points, when developers became restricted to 100,000, or if they already exceeded that, 2x the number they had, and that's all they'll get.

I asked Haddad if Twitter integration in iOS 5 and iOS 6 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and Twitter integration for OS X Mountain Lion for Mac, would take any of the pressure off the token cap by letting Apple handle some of the authentications. Haddad thought it unlikely:

As part of every Twitter request generated by the iOS Twitter integration the app’s unique id is sent. I’m sure Twitter could easily use this to prevent anyone from going over the current caps.

The best thing to do, if you're already using the Tweetbot for Mac Alpha, is to buy the release version when it hits the Mac App Store. That way, the token you already have becomes paid for, and Tapbots can at least earn as much as possible for their efforts, before the hard limit kills their ability to add more users.

If you don't intend to buy Tweetbot for Mac when it's released, or don't intend to use any other Twitter client you've bought in the past, Hadded does have one other way for you to help developers out:

If you go on the Twitter website and navigate to Settings -> Apps and hit the “Revoke access” button you are returning one of those tokens back to the app’s pool.

Tapbots' only concern right now should be developing a fantastic Twitter experience for Mac. Instead, given how unstable, undependable, and unreliable the Twitter platform has become, they're having to stress over and worry about the future of Tweetbot itself. That's bad for developers, for users, and for Twitter. Sadly, the first group is powerless to effect change, the second group is largely unaware change needs effecting, and the third group, despite its awareness and power, lacks the insight and acumen, to listen to their better angels and make it so.

Read the read of Paul Haddad's post via the link below.

Source: Tapbots blog

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.