Twitter to Developers: We discourage developers from building apps that replicate our core user experience

A Windows 8 Twitter client, Tweetro, was denied an exemption from the 100,000 user token limit. The meaning of the notice to developers a few months ago was still unclear when they said client-app developers would need to “work with [Twitter] directly.”

Atta Elayyan, developer of Tweetro client for Windows 8 got this result from Twitter:

Thank you for reaching out to get clarification on our developer policies. As you know, we discourage developers from building apps that replicate our core user experience (aka “Twitter clients”). We know that there are developers that want to take their passion for Twitter and its ecosystem to unique underserved situations.

Apparently this is their excuse. If you make an app that performs a function Twitter isn’t going to create an app for in-house, they’ll let it slide. This is the type of control people hate Apple for.

…Unfortunately, it does not appear that your service addresses an area that our current or future products do not already serve. As such, it does not qualify for an exemption.

The rule may sound unclear. It may sound like you might be able to build something for the Twitter service that is useful and that doesn’t step on Twitter’s toes.

Marco Arment pointed out the rule developers should follow:

The effective rule, therefore, is even simpler: “Don’t build anything for Twitter.”

Joshua Howland

Joshua is a mobile application developer, entrepreneur, and technology enthusiast. He is currently building a company that focuses on educational mobile applications: LearnStack. His favorite posts to write compare companies and products. He loves sports and start ups and talks about them (along with tech) on Twitter (@jkhowland) and his blog (

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