Twitter today said it plans to adjust access to two of its APIsTrack this API beginning later this year. The rate limits, which will impact the User Timeline API and Mentions Timeline API, are meant to give Twitter better visibility into how its APIs are being used by developers to support other businesses.
The company insists the changes being made to its most commonly used API endpoints are to ensure that the APIs are being used in a "fair and consistent manner." Twitter hinted that it may not be able to keep its public APIs open and broadly accessible should it discover they are being abused.
On June 19, Twitter will begin to limit total GET requests to the v1.1 /statuses/mentions_timeline and /statuses/user_timeline endpoints to 100,000 requests per day. This will be the default and applies to both user-auth and app-auth requests on a per-application and per-endpoint basis. This means a single developer can make a total of 100,000 calls to each of the endpoints during a 24-hour period.
"Why 100,000 requests? Because this limit allows us to make concrete progress to combat inappropriate use of our developer platform, while isolating the impact to the developers using these endpoints the most," explained Twitter in a blog post. "And, to further reduce the burden on developers, we have already taken steps to elevate rate limits for many impacted applications, including several third-party Twitter clients."
Twitter says the change will force those developers who require more than 100,000 API calls per day to trudge through the social network's review process. Ostensibly, this is to "ensure [the] use cases are compliant with [Twitter's] policies."
The company insists that this change is "critical" to create a level playing field for its customers, as well as to protect the people and businesses that use Twitter every day. Twitter wants businesses that make extensive use of Twitter APIs to have consistent commercial terms.
The changes are being previewed now, ahead of the June 19 switch, in order to give businesses time to adjust. "We know that sudden changes to our products, rate limits and processes can be disruptive," said Twitter. "By taking a phased approach to deploying these rate limit changes, we hope to help minimize impact to most developers." Twitter also plans to use developer feedback over the next two months to help it fine-tune its approach.