Twitter’s stupid token limit forces another great app to exit Google Play [OPINION]


Twitter, are you listening? Good, because I have something I need to get off my chest: you’re stupid. As great as your platform is, I no longer want to use it anymore, because you like to stifle creativity and force users to your website so you can earn a dollar on your stagnant platform.

Now that I’ve said that, here’s what I’m talking about: Fenix, which was highly regarded by the community as one of the best Twitter apps for Android, has reached its 100,000 user token limit. This is the same limit that hit many other third-party apps time and time again.

fenix for twitter

Nothing is different about Fenix’s case, though the developer seemingly opted to remove the app from their website and from Google Play, and is willing to issue refunds to any user who requests one. This is in contrast to apps like Falcon, the developer of which opted to allow users to generate their own Twitter API key in order to have virtually limitless tokens.

But just because we’re used to this doesn’t mean it doesn’t make us just as livid as the first time it happened.

I used to love Twitter. It was a great way to blow off some steam, catch a laugh or stay caught up on breaking news and events. Part of the reason I loved Twitter is because I didn’t have to use the website or that god awful official app. From Twidroyd back when I had my G1 all the way until my use of Falcon Pro right now, these apps have given me the features that helped make Twitter bearable.

Twitter 5.0 for Android featured

A lot of people like Twitter’s app. A lot don’t.

But you just can’t stand that, and so you implemented that stupid token limit. What sense does it make to limit third-party apps to 100,000 users? Here’s Twitter’s take as told to a developer who petitioned to have their limit increased a few years ago:

As you know, we discourage developers from building apps that replicate our core user experience (aka “Twitter clients”).

At least they’re blunt about it.

We know that there are developers that want to take their passion for Twitter and its ecosystem to unique underserved situations.

Apps that can’t fully replace a Twitter client, such as widgets.

As such, we have built some flexibility into our policy with regard to user tokens – which went into effect September 5th, 2012.

Because everyone can make money on widgets, right?

Here’s the quick and dirty translation: your app can’t make us money. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? To be fair, yes, you are introducing a lot of neat new features, and you want people to be able to use those features without having to worry about whether their app supports it. That’s understandable. But to force people to use your app for that reason is just downright wrong, and something needs to change.

We’ve heard in the past that Twitter wants to improve their relationships with developers, and we took that to mean they eventually want to let the little guys prosper. But literally nothing has changed in the years since this policy was implemented, and there’s nothing to suggest Twitter is moving the wheels on anything. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new Twitter client then one great option is no longer available. Try this one, and hope it doesn’t eventually fall victim to the same circumstances.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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