It was way back in August 2012 that Twitter had revised its API to version 1.1 with a major change that impacted app developers in a big way – they had limited the number of tokens (or in simpler terms – users) to 100,000 per app which emulated the “core Twitter experience” or Twitter clients. Once these tokens run out, the app effectively dies out as no new users can be activated.
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In a repeat of the Falcon Pro vs. Twitter token limits history, Twitter client Carbon for Android now bites the dust. The Carbon app for Android had recently received a major bump to version 2.0 which brought in some new design elements, a darker and more elegant theme and the experience of having all your Twitter information on a single page – effectively eliminating the need for drilling down to multiple pages.
The new design and features notwithstanding, Carbon will not be able to authenticate new users any longer as they have received intimation from Twitter that all the tokens allocated to them have been used up. In a Google+ post, the developer M. Saleh Esmaeli has clarified that the inevitable has arrived and he would no longer want to continue working on any workarounds to the token limits. The developer further adds that planned updates to the Carbon app will roll out for existing users, but any further development on the app will be frozen hence with.
The app description on the Google Play store has been updated with this information, asking new users not to download the app. For the past year, developers have been making a hue and cry against these new limits set by Twitter. In response, Twitter has responded stating that the limits are only set for apps which provide an experience which emulates the “core Twitter experience” and not to apps which expand on the possibilities of Twitter.
This case definitely highlights the risks of building a business over somebody else’s APIs. However, Twitter’s stance on the issue is still a matter of concern. Do you use Carbon or did you plan to? How does this impact you, do let us know in the comments below.