If you make a Twitter client, you have a bit of time to get out of that business. If you were thinking about writing one, don’t.
He predicted this a long time ago.
And yes, this is enforceable, because thanks to OAuth they can and will revoke an app’s access to Twitter at the flick of a switch. They brag about how they “revoke literally hundreds of API tokens / apps a week” [ibid]. I just now realized the implications of this, actually. OAuth may be more secure than traditional HTTP auth in that it doesn’t give apps access to your account password, but the centralization of control that it gives to service providers is really disturbing.
He links to Tweetake, a service that can back up all your tweets, favorites, and direct messages.
Maybe Twitter’s not really for free-form posting anymore though. Maybe what Twitter leadership really wants is to create a Hollywood-glossy, TV-comfy place for "mainstream users" to read Tweets from famous people and big media brands. Maybe they’re too cool for school and don’t need the earnest nerds that built their ecosystem in the early days anymore. Now they’ve got Charlie Sheen.
One of the cool things about Twitter is that the service sparked a bunch of UI innovation on the part of some very talented client-app developers. I want to see that continue. But it’s as if they said: no more. Stop. We’ll take over now.
Uli Kusterer wants to build a distributed Twitter:
RSS is ideal. It’s XML, so it’s extensible. It is widely supported. There are libraries for reading it for pretty much every programming language. And it was intended to be polled for new, current information. It also deals in items, which can be what each Tweet will be. And finally, at their simplest form, they are just text files on a server, so implementations can be very simple, and can happen on CDNs and other “stupid” web servers, if needed. I’ll first go into the technical infrastructure, and then I’ll illustrate how this would actually look to the end-user.