Most mobile developers, including myself, will have at least one app that uses the Twitter API. Most of us spent last week digesting the ramifications of Twitter’s future changes to their API. In broad summary it affects how tweets can be displayed, the business relationship with Twitter for heavy users and changes for people using the non-authenticated API.
In some ways these changes were inevitable. Twitter’s success and valuation has required that it become (infeasibly?) hugely profitable. In order for this to happen it has to better control the apps that use the API - both technically to prevent unnecessary capacity growth and business-wise to control what’s shown.
Some developers will be severely handicapped by the new rules and many smaller apps will disappear. It’s a good time to reflect on the wider issue of using 3rd party services such as depending on one market, performing due diligence, using cloud services, backends and even choosing mobile developers. Non trivial apps should factor these risks into the business plan.
Often the risks can be difficult to identify. Most 3rd party future strategies are unknown and might even be unknown to the 3rd party. However, what about Google and Android? CNet has an interesting slide based on an Oracle v Google trial exhibit…