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Twitter API1.1 – What to do… What to do…

I've got to make a call on the immediate future of VocZie, and it is tied directly to the new Twitter API (API1.1) which has yet to be released.

In my last blog post I outlined the problem; basically the changes coming in API1.1 have the potential to prevent VocZie from working. The problem I have is - do I continue working on the new features for VocZie if there is a risk the application will not work with the new API? Or do I down tools for now, and hedge my bets with another project (I've many I've been thinking of).

This dilemma all stems from just 3 lines in @sippey's recent official Twitter blog post on the forth coming API changes, in this post @sippey says:

There will be a set of high-volume endpoints related to Tweet display, profile display, user lookup and user search where applications will be able to make up to 720 calls per hour per endpoint.

Full documentation of the rate limiting by endpoint will be released with API v1.1.

I need to be able to use the search API for my application, but the post and the lines above are not precise on exactly how the rate limits will be implemented; does @sippey suggest that the API rate limit will be applied per application, so my application will not be able to make more the 720 calls to the search API every hour? Or does this mean that it is 720 calls per user per hour? - There is a big difference.

I've had some responses to my question on the Twitter developer forum it appears that I'm not the only one worrying about the same question. @cjmcguinness replied to me and said he believed that this would be rate limited per user, per search - which means VocZie will continue to function with the new APIs. But there has been no confirmation of this from Twitter. The one official Twitter employee response, from @episod leaves open the possibility that it could be application based limitation:

Details on how rate limiting ill work in API v1.1 will be revealed along with the documentation when its released.

API v1.1 will support application-only authorization on some methods and the typical user-based application authorization on most methods

There looks like there is nothing I / we can do but wait for the official release of the new Twitter APIs and their documentation. Based on the Twitter blog post we shouldn't have long to wait. While the post stops short of providing a release date for API1.1, it does provide some hints:

If your application is currently using the Twitter API without using OAuth, you will need to update your application before March 2013.


From the day of the release, developers will have six months to migrate applications from v1.0 to v1.1.

March 2013 minus six months is… next month, so probably two to three weeks time. What am I going to do during that time? - Continue working on an application which may have to be shut down? or stop - and hedge my bets?

Without a clear answer from Twitter the only thing I can do is stop, and hedge my bets. With a six month window for correcting my application I can always return to it later. For the next three weeks though, there is no point adding any new features.

Time to pick up the pencil and start sketching out some alternative ideas...

…I wonder how app.net is getting on…

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