Yesterday TwapperKeeper, an app that lets people archive and export tweets, is going to shut down a number of key features to stay in compliance with Twitter’s terms of service, ReadWriteWeb says.The rule at issue here is that Twitter lets developers do what they want with tweets as long as it’s online, but when you’re creating exportable databases, that’s no longer kosher.
Unlike Twitter’s war with UberMedia, Bill Gross’ rollup of Twitter apps which will control around 20% of tweets once it completes its acquisition of TweetDeck, this doesn’t seem to be motivated by a pure business sense. But it’s still unfortunate timing.
It seems that Twitter is doing two things simultaneously, each of which would be a big deal but that will create big problems together: a) doing more “housekeeping” on their platform and seriously enforcing rules that were enforced in a relaxed way up till now; b) asserting more control over their platform to control more of the user experience and build a serious business. The TwapperKeeper event comes under category a, the simmering UberMedia conflict under category b.
Twitter does need to enforce rules on its platform and build a business. The question is, can they do so without depressing investment in their platform and angering developers.