Building the next generation of the Twitter API

By Ian Cairns

We believe developers help improve Twitter and strengthen the public conversation, and we want to help them succeed with their goals far into the future. That’s why today we’re sharing the first stage of our plan to build the next generation of the Twitter API, starting with our new Twitter Developer Labs program. We’re launching this new program so developers can test new API products early and share feedback. We know the best future version of our API will come from creating it together with the people who use it most.

Twitter has significantly changed since we introduced the v1.1 API in 2012, as has the way developers use the Twitter API. Going forward, we want to make it easier for more developers to get started and grow with us, while continuing to provide a useful, open, and free API offering. We’re building the future of our developer platform with a diverse range of developers in mind.

We know we still need to do a better job listening to and learning from our developer community. Labs is a test program to help us do that, in line with the more open, public approach to product development we’re taking across the company. We’re inviting interested developers to preview new features and tell us what they like, what they don't, and what would help them – before we launch new API features broadly to everyone.

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Our initial focus in Labs will be on developers who work with conversational data, including academics and researchers who study and explore what’s happening on Twitter, and social listening and analytics companies that build products for other businesses. Over time, we plan to update significant portions of our existing API, and make some foundational changes like new data definitions and endpoint structures. As always, we are building all of the features in Labs with the privacy and safety of the people who use Twitter in mind. That means that the developers who will be able to participate in Labs will have to go through our developer registration process, and will experience the same level of accountability as with our other public APIs.  You can read more about the thinking behind these features on our developer forum.

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The Labs program is the first step in a longer journey to build the future of the Twitter API and renew our investment in our entire developer platform. We’ll release the first endpoints to all eligible developers in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in participating, there are a few things you can do today:

  1. Visit the Labs page on our developer website and sign up to receive updates when the first endpoints go live in the coming weeks.
  2. Create a developer account (if you haven’t yet). Access to Labs will require a developer account, even if you have an active app created through the former website.
  3. Review the Labs documentation to learn more about what’s coming.
  4. Share feedback and let us know what you think here.
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Since the endpoints we’ll release in Labs are early previews, they may change before we release them broadly. We encourage developers to take that into consideration as they build with them. When we're ready to release final versions of any new endpoints, we'll give developers advance notice so they have time to make updates.

We’ll share more updates on Labs in the coming weeks from @TwitterDev. We are also hosting a #TapIntoTwitter event in New York this June to meet with our developer community and share more on the Labs program. Stay tuned!

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Ian Cairns


Twitter Developer Platform

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