Twitter Direct Message Enforcement Deadline This Week

A different kind of Twitter API deadline is fast approaching, this time affecting  both application developers and users. If you have a Twitter application that accesses Twitter direct messages, you will need your users to reauthorize you again by June 30th, 2011 to avoid any interruptions in receiving messages, as Twitter declared in May. The enforcement deadline is now just a few days away.

Update: Only applications that read or delete DMs are affected by the change--applications that send DMs will not need to re-authorize users.

The announcement was originally made on the Twitter API mailing list with an earlier deadline, but it has been extended. The API is adding new permission levels for accessing direct messages, or DMs. Reauthorization is required on behalf of the user for any Twitter applications that accesses DMs. Our earlier post explains how it will affect the workflow, especially for native mobile applications.

If you have authenticated Twitter applications to access your DMs (such as a Twitter client), chances are that you are already receiving tweets informing you to reauthorize the application to not face any interruptions in receiving DMs from them. Shown below is an example Tweet asking to reauthorize the application.

In case you are the author of the application, you need to send out a communication to your subscribers to reauthorize your application. In case you are a user, you might simply want to go in and reauthorize the applications.

As a good practice, it is important you visit your Twitter settings every once in a while and check up on the applications that you have authorized. You might be surprised with the number of applications that have piled up. If you aren't using them actively, you might even consider de-authorizing them.

The Twitter DM enforcement deadline is surely going to result in several broken Twitter applications despite the best efforts of developers and Twitter, since the onus is back on the users to reauthorize the application. It once again brings into focus how changing an API affects the entire ecosystem that has been built on it.

Be sure to read the next API article: Dive Into a New Hobby