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Twitter’s latest update will improve third-party apps


Twitter’s latest update will improve third-party apps Twitter announced an update on Friday that should significantly improve the experience within third-party Twitter apps: It’s giving developers much more access to their reverse-chronological timeline. This update to Twitter’s recently released API v2, the interface developers use to get data from Twitter, is a new (and, I think, encouraging) step in Twitter’s journey to better support developers. As Twitter points out in its announcement post, the new API v2 feature gives developers a way to “retrieve the most recent Tweets and Retweets posted by the authenticated user and the accounts they follow.” In other words, a developer can request to see the data that Twitter shows them when they load their app with “Latest Tweets” selected so that their app can show it to them. For third-party clients like Tweetbot, the feature (or “endpoint” in developer parlance) is very welcome. Paul Haddad, one of the Tweetbot developers, is quoted in Twitter’s announcement saying that the old way of getting a user’s timeline “is one of our most used API calls.” The previous version of the API was released in 2012, so it was definitely getting long, and developers using it were facing more limits when trying to get a user’s timeline. Haddad explained that the change would make Tweetbot more responsive to users. “We’ll just be able to update the timeline more often and allow users to scroll much further back in their timeline,” thanks to the fact that API v2 allows developers to make more requests in various ways. For example, the previous version, API v1.1, allowed you to request the startup timeline 15 times in a 15-minute window and could return up to 800 tweets. API v2 supports up to 180 requests per user in that same period and retrieves 3,200 tweets. From a development standpoint, he says, it simplifies things a lot. “We currently use the v1.1 home timeline API to get a list of Tweets and then v2 APIs to fill in any v2 specific data (polls, cards, metrics, etc..…). With this new v2 version, we can get all that data in a single step.” Throughout the release of v2 (it was piloted in 2020 and launched as the primary way to interact with Twitter late last year), Twitter has made one thing very clear: it’s trying to make its peace with developers after years of creating new features exclusive to your first-party application. The company even removed restrictions from its terms of service that made it difficult for third-party clients to compete with the official app, such as limits on the number of users they could have. Talk is cheap, and it wouldn’t be surprising if some developers weren’t sure if Twitter was compromised. But with Friday’s announcement, the company appears to be showing that it’s continuing the trend of giving developers access to crucial features, with Haddad saying it’s “noteworthy” that Twitter has actually created and released a timeline API for home for v2. “There’s a number of uses for this API, but a big one is for third-party Twitter clients to be Twitter clients. The fact that they released this is an indication that they’re going to continue to allow and even encourage alternative clients.”

From: thehansindia

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