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Twitter breaks its own new rules with TweetDeck

Starting today, Twitter apps aren't allowed to include posts from other social networks. But what about TweetDeck's Facebook integration?


Kris Holt

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 5, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 9:54 am CDT

Twitter’s new rules for how third parties must display tweets don’t extend to its own TweetDeck client, it would seem.

TweetDeck, which is owned by Twitter, gives you the option of seeing updates from your Facebook friends in the same timeline as tweets from people you follow. While that’s a useful tool for many people, it appears the measure is breaking rules on displaying tweets, which came into effect Friday.

In the “Timeline Integrity” section of the requirements, it’s clearly stated that “Tweets that are grouped together into a timeline must not be rendered with non-Twitter content. e.g., comments, updates from other networks.”

These display requirements are intended for clients like Tweetbot and Echofon—created by third-party developers to help users access Twitter in different ways—as Twitter seeks a “consistent Twitter experience” for those who use it. TweetDeck started out as one such third-party client before it was bought out by Twitter last year.

The rules put Twitter in a tough spot, it would seem. Either it keeps Facebook integration in TweetDeck, risking the ire of developers who might accuse it of not playing fair, or it removes the Facebook feature and faces possible blowback from TweetDeck users who find it useful.

Twitter did not respond to the Daily Dot’s requests for comment by time of publication.

Meanwhile, developers faced a race against time to get their apps ready by Friday. When Twitter announced the display requirements and changes to the API (the application display interface, a method apps use to access Twitter data), it made no indication of the deadline for the former. Instead, the date was noted on a separate display requirements page, and perhaps wasn’t clear enough for all developers.

If clients don’t comply with Twitter’s demands, they could lose their API access. The deadline for compliance with the API requirements is March 15, which led to confusion and some developers rushing to make their products compliant with the display requirements by Friday.

“This October 5th deadline has caught us a bit by surprise,” Paul Haddad, of Tweetbot creator Tapbots, told The Next Web. “We already meet most of the requirements but will need some extra time to meet them all.”

It would seem that Twitter’s willing to offer a little leeway as developers change their clients to adhere to the new rules. Meanwhile, some apps have already rolled out changes to comply with the display guidelines. Storify, for example, has removed the option to share tweets to Facebook, Google+ et al, and cut the ability to like or comment on tweets within Storify stories.

Twitter can’t be knocked for attempting to become a viable business, but the way in which it’s affecting other apps and clients’ usefulness is up for debate.

Photo by the prodigal untitled13/Flickr

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*First Published: Oct 5, 2012, 2:03 pm CDT