Much has been written about the recent Twitter API token limitations. Developers are limited to a certain number of user tokens, above which threshold they must negotiate with the baron Twitter if they want more users. It’s handicapping the developers upon whose backs Twitter rose to popularity.
Tapbots recently ended their Tweetbot for Mac alpha so as not to cross that crippling threshold too soon.
But here’s another idea for Tapbots (or any other developer). What if instead of distributing the application with your own tokens, you require each user to create her own Twitter app and then supply Tweetbot with the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret from that app? This way, Tweetbot accesses the API under the guise of an unrelated app, thus evading the token limits. Tweetbot could grow to as many users as are willing to go through this process.
I recently installed a WordPress plugin for Twitter cross-posting that had me do exactly this.
It’s not very user-friendly, but it’s also not difficult. It distributes the API usage among users. Twitter no longer tells you what client was used to send tweets, so it won’t matter to Tapbots that their users are sending tweets via surrogate app accounts—they’re not getting any links from Twitter anymore as it is. The only way Twitter could crack down on this would be to shut down or restrict accounts of the users, but turning away advertising eyeballs like that would be a bad financial decision.
Am I missing anything? It almost seems too simple.