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Developers Launch Petition Asking Twitter For Answers

Developers are not happy about Twitter’s stricter API rules, scheduled to take affect some time in the near future.

The new rules will tighten API access and promise to redefine many of the “Developer Rules of the Road” – but how they’ll do this specifically is unclear.

Well, developers want answers – and they’ve started an online petition in an attempt to get them.

Developers knew there were changes in store last month after Twitter shared its intention to refocus on providing users with a consistent experience. Many expected stricter API guidelines, but few could have predicted changes as extensive as this.

The new guidelines are vague, leaving many developers feeling betrayed and worried. As a result, they are starting to rebel and over the weekend they started a Change.org petition asking Twitter for answers.

Now before you jump all over the developers, understand that this isn’t a case of developers acting entitled, this move by Twitter can potentially have serious and far-reaching effects on many businesses operating off of the microblogging platform:

Recently, Twitter began to generate rumors (mainly via a post on their official developer weblog) that they will be clamping down on their APIs, or perhaps shutting them altogether. . . . This is creating an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, doubt, and anger in the technology industry and particularly amongst those who use these APIs or apps that rely on them.

These rumors are harmful and are causing real economic damage to companies that currently work around these APIs. For example, investors are afraid to invest and customers are afraid to go forward, on anything that touches the Twitter APIs. Companies, products and jobs are at risk.

Why has Twitter not clarified this situation with a statement that they still intend to be “open” and that their developers should not worry? Is it because the rumors are true, or is it that Twitter isn’t sure yet, or that they just don’t care? None of these conclusions are good.

The creator of the petition, Nova Spivack, a “technology futurist, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and CEO of Bottlenose.com,” insists that there’s a better way for Twitter. He asserts that “Twitter CAN in fact make more money, and be more independent, and ultimately have a greater market cap, by opening up the APIs than by closing them.” Check out his post and let us know if you agree.

And you can follow along via the #OccupyTwitter hashtag.

(Petition image from Shutterstock)

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