I received an email from “If This The That” last night, one that came as no big surprise to me but it was nice to get an email from them all the same.


The clampers of Twitter API usage is starting to take hold and I knew from first reads a few months ago that ifttt was going to be playing a losing battle because of one little clause in Twitter’s API usage document.

???Don???t resyndicate data. If your service consumes Twitter data, don???t take that data and expose it via an API, post it to other cloud services, and so on.???
So this shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone. If a company says don’t do it then you don’t do it, if you’re currently doing it then you should be making plans to either pay for it or remove it. Common sense.

What bugs me now is the naivety of developers and entrepreneurs that believe they can build their fortunes or egos based on other peoples work, I’ve seen a number of “Twitter has destroyed my business”, no they haven’t you were naive to think that nothing would change and you didn’t have a plan B. There’s no divine right that an API be free. Early interviews with Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams were very clear that the API was there to grow the user base. 

As a user of ifttt I’d already made provision knowing that the Twitter pipeline would eventually be killed off in some form or fashion. 

Like I’ve said time and time again if you don’t own the data then you must plan for the day when the tap is turned off to you.  And it’s a conversation that comes up again and again with uVoucher, “can I suck in all my Facebook friends and do x, y and z”. No you can’t, you don’t own the data but if you go the uVoucher way to customer loyalty, well then you will. 

So friends, if you’re startup, service or business is so dependant on the Twitter API I seriously suggest that you dream up a plan B before it’s too late. Living in a dreamworld that data will always be free is just short sighted.