May 28, 2024


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Twitter's latest update will make third-party apps even better

Twitter’s latest update will make third-party apps even better

Twitter About Friday’s update This should vastly improve the experience within third-party Twitter apps: it gives developers much greater access to the reverse timeline. This update to the recently launched Twitter API v2, the interface that developers use to get data from Twitter, is a new (and in my opinion encouraging) step in Twitter’s journey to better support developers.

As Twitter notes In her announcement after, the new API v2 feature gives developers a way to “retrieve the latest Tweets and Retweets posted by an authenticated user and the accounts they follow.” In other words, the developer can ask to see the data Twitter shows you when you load the first-party app with a file The “Recent Tweets” option is their app can show it to you instead.

For third-party clients like Tweetbot, the feature (or “endpoint” in developer parlance) is most welcome. Paul Haddad, one of the developers of Tweetbot, was quoted in a Twitter announcement as saying that the old method of getting a user’s timeline “is one of the most frequently used API calls”. It was the old version of the API Launched in 2012so it was definitely time-consuming in the tooth – and developers using it faced even more limitations when trying to get the user’s timeline.

In a letter to the edgeHaddad explained that the change would make Tweetbot more responsive to users. “We will be able to simply update the timeline more often and allow users to scroll further back in their timeline,” thanks to the fact that API v2 allows developers to make more requests in a number of ways. Old version API v1.1 let you ask The homepage timeline is 15 times in a 15-minute frame, and can display up to 800 tweets. API v2 supports up to 180 requests per user in the same time frame, and retrieves 3,200 tweets.

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He says that from a development point of view, it makes things simpler. “Currently we are using the Home Timeline API v1.1 to get a list of tweets and then the v2 APIs to populate any v2 specific data (polls, cards, metrics, etc…). With this new version of the version 2, we can get all of that data in one step.”

Throughout the release of the second edition (it Tested in 2020It was launched as the main way to interact with Twitter late last year), Twitter has made one thing very clear: It’s trying to make amends with developers, after years of creating new features that are exclusive to the first-party app. The company even removed restrictions from its terms of service that made it difficult for third-party customers to compete with the official app, such as limits on the number of users they can have.

Talk is cheap and it wouldn’t be surprising if some developers weren’t sure if Twitter was actually committed. But with Friday’s announcement, the company appears to be showing that it’s continuing the trend of giving developers access to important features, and Haddad says it’s “remarkable” that Twitter has already built and released a home timeline API for v2. “There are a number of uses for this API, but one of the big uses is for third-party Twitter customers to be Twitter customers. The fact that they launched this is an indication that they will continue to allow and even encourage replacement customers.”