Twitter has been in the news a lot recently for its reported “smackdown” on third-party services and features. It shut down the API Whitelist, suspended two popular UberMedia clients, and most recently, it has taken action against TwapperKeeper.
As John O’Brien, the founder of TwapperKeeper, explained to WebProNews, Twitter asked him to remove the “Export and Download” feature from the service in order to be in compliance with their API Terms of Service. Twitter said TwapperKeeper was specifically violating the re-syndication and redistribution of content portion of their TOS.
TwapperKeeper also made the decision to remove the “API” feature as well, since it is very similar to the export feature.
In case you’re not familiar with the service, TwapperKeeper allows users to create and export archives of tweets based on specific keywords or hashtags that they are interested in. People have found the tool to be useful since searches on Twitter only go back through a certain amount of days and only cover a certain amount of data.
The “Export and Download” feature, specifically, allows users to download an entire data set of tweets for analytical purposes. With the “Export and Download” and “API” features removed, TwapperKeeper’s core platform is impacted.
“Taking that away makes a pretty big dent on why our users use the system,” said O’Brien.
The microblogging service claims that it issues suspension notices on a daily basis, although, in most cases, the apps do not have many users. O’Brien believes Twitter’s actions are part of an effort to gain control of their data, which would be a step in starting to monetize the site. In other words, he thinks Twitter’s actions were part of a business move.
TwapperKeeper is planning to remove its key features on March 20th. O’Brien strongly recommends that users begin archiving on their own because he thinks Twitter will continue to crack down on similar tools. TwapperKeeper does have an open source solution called yourTwapperKeeper that is an option as well.
“When TwapperKeeper was first created, I never envisioned it as a long term business because all Twitter had to do was open their archive one day… I do believe, at some point, that they’re going to make that available,” he pointed out.
After March 20th, O’Brien said he would leave the tool online, see what happens, and then decide on the future of the application.
What are your thoughts on Twitter’s recent “smackdown”?