Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

#NewTwitter API

So a few interesting, or rather frustrating things, about the current state of the Twitter API.

I spent way too much time fucking around with a couple of PHP Twitter API libraries to do some automated tweeting. The change late last year of requiring OAuth authentication seems to have left most libraries broken. TwitterOAuth seemed to support OAuth and I saw it mentioned in a couple of blog posts, so I gave it a try. It seemed to work well and I got the access tokens, but subsequent requests resulted in a “Incorrect signature” error. So I used the Twitter class by Tijs Verkoyen, which did the trick.

With the new web client supporting media attach to tweets, I figured surely there must be some way to do this from the API. There isn’t. Only content from one of Twitter’s media partners is attached. The term “media partners” should have probably been a red flag to developers regarding the shape of things to come. To add insult to injury, the client-side code for this is ridiculously easy to extend (creating a new twttr.mediaType).

Finally, the recent announcement with Twitter coming out against third-party clients. I can’t say I’m surprised at all, especially as Twitter moves further towards selling ads and actually making a profit, for which they’ll need tighter control. Why third-party clients were allowed in the first place is questionable beyond it being a bait-and-switch tactic to lure developers and users. Personally, I use the web client, so I don’t care that much as a user and my recent development efforts have just revolved around server-side tweeting, so I don’t care that much as a developer, but to those burned I’d say suck it up and learn from it. Twitter, Facebook,, whoever… pretty much every company out, they doesn’t make an API for your sake, but for theirs. Invest too much time, energy, and/or money and your almost definitely going suffer disappointment and betrayal. If your project is important to you, be ready to pull the plug and build your own platform or ecosystem; use them, don’t let them use you.


You can follow me on twitter @AvishkarAA

I’ve been debating with myself about creating an account, but seeing quite a few people I admire tweeting, I figure I’d join the fray.

Also, for any feature suggestions, bug reports, etc., for anything I’ve written, feel free to send me a tweet.

Things about twitter

I recently started a twitter blog (feed? … wtf do you call it?) for fragmentsync and aside from the shameless plug, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the tech:

  • Twitter is radically simple. I suspect the simplicity along with the fact that it’s built around SMS (people love cell phones) are the two primary tech/design factors contributing to its uptake among the general public.
  • Twitter is a cheap substitute for a news feed (that’s the reason for the fragmentsync account). It’s a lot easier to setup and maintain than a blog (there will a fragmentsync blog soon, however).
  • Twitter seems like the blogging fad all over again. Remember when everyone had a blog?
  • Ick, tinyurl =[

Twitter, hacked.

A number of high-profile twitter accounts were hacked yesterday,

The Twitter accounts of President-elect Barack Obama, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, Britney Spears, Fox News and 29 others were hacked Monday according to the microblog site, leading to false and inappropriate messages being posted on their accounts.

I took a screenshot of one such false (one assumes) and inappropriate (I guess) message:

bill o'reilly is gay