Twitter revises strategy on data sharing for more developers


  • Twitter
  • Friday, 17 Jul 2020

An updated version of the ‘standard’ API was supposed to launch July 16 with new data from some of Twitter’s features, like poll results and threaded conversations. But the company delayed the rollout until next week following a security breach on July 15. — Dreamstime/TNS

Twitter Inc will change the ways in which it shares tweet data with third-party developers as part of a broader push to expand its data licensing program. The new strategy was planned before a massive hacking incident upended the platform on July 15.

The social-media company has long offered three versions of its API, or application programming interface, which allows outside developers to access large numbers of public tweets for activities such as research and customer service. Twitter plans to create more free and paid versions of those offerings as a way to entice more customers to use them, including a special set of APIs specifically for researchers, the company said Thursday in a statement.

An updated version of the “standard” API, which is free for all developers, was supposed to launch Thursday with new data from some of Twitter’s features, like poll results and threaded conversations. But the company delayed the rollout until next week after Wednesday’s security breach in which hackers took over many of the service’s most popular accounts, including those of former US president Barack Obama and Tesla Inc chief executive officer Elon Musk, in a scam to gain Bitcoin.

The company shut down verified accounts across the system Wednesday as it investigated the breach, which Twitter said targeted employees with access to the platform’s internal controls, letting the hackers take control of the high-profile accounts. In reaction to the incident, Twitter shares declined as much as 4.7% before erasing most of the loss. The stock had fallen less than 1% to US$35.32 (RM150.75) at 1.30pm Thursday in New York.

“While we have no evidence the incident had anything to do with our API, turning it on (Thursday) took a back seat to making sure the people who use Twitter are safe and secure,” a spokeswoman said in an email late Wednesday. – Bloomberg

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