Ev Wants Developers Back

Posted by Daniel Jilg on July 21, 2015 · 2 mins read

Twitter cofounder Evan Williams about redefining what Twitter is, and fessing up to mistakes from the past, via Manton Reece.

Williams also suggested that it was time for Twitter to look for new ways to connect with software developers and to take another stab at making Twitter a platform. Twitter famously went to war with developers several years ago when it restricted developers’ access to the API that allowed them to grab Twitter data for their own use.

The API denial was, “One of our strategic errors we had to wind down over time,” Evans [sic] explained. “It wasn’t a win/win for developers, users, and the company.”

Problem is, the damage with developers is done. Most of the developers likely to develop cool new apps that tie into Twitter got pretty wary during the Great API Burn of ‘12 and now most of the momentum is gone.

Major corporations will probably still connect their apps to Twitter, especially with the hinted-at shift in focus to real time news:

Even as Twitter continues its hunt for a new CEO, Twitter cofounder and board member Evan Williams says that Twitter has more-or-less finally figured out what it really is: a real-time news platform.


“Early on we didn’t know what Twitter was. We thought it was a social network, some people called it microblogging,” he said.

That might work. But, as with any change in direction for a social network, users have to be on board with the changes, or at least not actively against them. Facebook has been pretty good at these subtle changes in direction, adding up to a completely different product in the span of a few years. With Reddit, things have been less successful, and a whole lot more clumsy. Let’s see how Twitter fares.