Twitter announced an update on Friday that ought to considerably enhance the expertise inside third-party Twitter apps: it’s giving builders way more entry to its reverse chronological timeline. This replace to Twitter’s lately launched API v2, the interface that builders use to get knowledge from Twitter, is a brand new (and, for my part, encouraging) step in Twitter’s journey to higher help builders.
As Twitter notes in its announcement post, the brand new API v2 characteristic provides builders a approach to “retrieve the most recent Tweets and Retweets posted by the authenticated user and the accounts they follow.” In different phrases, a developer can ask to see the information that Twitter reveals you whenever you load up the primary get together app with the “Latest Tweets” possibility chosen, so their app can present it to you as a substitute.
For third get together purchasers like Tweetbot, the characteristic (or “endpoint” in developer parlance) is a really welcome one. Paul Haddad, considered one of Tweetbot’s builders, is quoted in Twitter’s announcement as saying that the outdated approach to get a person’s time line “is one of our most used API calls.” The outdated model of the API was launched in 2012, so it was undoubtedly getting lengthy within the tooth — and builders utilizing it confronted extra limits when making an attempt to get a person’s timeline.
In an electronic mail to The Verge, Haddad defined that the change will make Tweetbot extra responsive for customers. “We’ll simply be able to refresh the timeline more often and allow users to scroll much further back in their timeline,” due to the truth that API v2 lets builders make extra requests in a number of methods. The outdated model, API v1.1, let you request the house timeline 15 instances in a 15 minute window, and will return as much as 800 tweets. API v2 helps as much as 180 requests per person in that very same timeframe, and retrieves 3,200 tweets.
From a growth standpoint, he says, it makes issues a lot easier. “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 v2’s rollout (it went into testing in 2020, and was launched as the principle approach to interface with Twitter late final 12 months), Twitter has made one factor very clear: it’s making an attempt to make amends with builders, after years of constructing new options unique to its first get together app. The firm even eliminated restrictions from its phrases of service that made it harder for third get together purchasers to compete with the official app, similar to limits to the variety of customers they may have.
Talk is affordable, and it wouldn’t be shocking if some builders weren’t positive whether or not Twitter was really dedicated. But with Friday’s announcement, the corporate appears to be exhibiting that it’s persevering with the development of giving builders entry to essential options, and Haddad says that it’s “noteworthy” that Twitter really constructed and launched a house timeline API 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.”