Twitter announces forthcoming updates regarding apps

TwitterOver the coming weeks, Twitter will be making two important updates that will impact how users interact with Twitter applications. 

Acccording to Twitter, there are more than 250,000 apps built using the Twitter API. To use them, users must first authorize the app to access your Twitter account. 

Update 1: New authorization rules for applications

Starting imediately, all apps will be required to use “OAuth” to access your Twitter account.

What’s OAuth?

  • OAuth is a technology that enables applications to access Twitter on your behalf with your approval without asking you directly for your password.
  • Desktop and mobile applications may still ask for your password once, but after that request, they are required to use OAuth in order to access your timeline or allow you to tweet.

What does this mean? Apps are no longer allowed to store your password. If you change your password, the apps will continue to work. Some apps you have been using may require you to reauthorize them or may stop functioning at the time of this change. All applications you have authorized will be listed here. And you can revoke access to any application at any time from the list.

Update 2: URL wrapping

Twitter will soon be expanding the roll-out of their link wrapping service, which is a link shortener like owly or bitly. Twitter expects to roll this out to all users by the end of the year. 

What does this mean for me?

  • A really long link such as might be wrapped as for display on SMS, but it could be displayed to web or application users as or as the whole URL or page title.
  • You will start seeing links in a way that removes the obscurity of shortened links and lets you know where each link will take you.
  • When you click on these links from or a Twitter application, Twitter will log that click. We hope to use this data to provide better and more relevant content to you over time.