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Discussion on: First hands on the new Twitter API

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andypiper profile image
Andy Piper

Hi, Corentin! Thank you so much for checking out the v2 endpoints we have released so far, and for posting this really helpful write-up. This is exactly what we need as we progress with the new version, I really mean it, a lot of people internally at Twitter have read this, thank you.

I'm not commenting here to "defend" v2, but I'd love to have the chance to comment on a few things, if you're open to it :-)

You and some of the other commenters have talked about GraphQL. Twitter joined the GraphQL Foundation about a year ago (I literally sit next to the folks who built out that internal API, well I did when I was in the office...) and it's true that our internal APIs do use GQL extensively; you all comment on and question why we haven't exposed that externally, and it's a combination of wanting to provide a recognisable RESTful experience for longer term developers, as well as enabling us to retain control of performance etc. It's not a perfect response, I know, but believe me that it was something that was deeply considered for v2, and I think we've landed somewhere that provides some of the benefits at least. We can continue to improve and reconsider, here.

Authentication! Man, this is one of my day-to-day nightmares and opportunities. We really want to shift over to the more granular and standard settings that OAuth 2.0 can provide, but we also have a HUGE installed app and developer and user base, so this is going to take some time to transition. I'm one of the folks that is working with our product and engineering teams on updating this. It's going to take some time, but we do care, we do hear you all, and we want to move to something more common as well. Do stay tuned on this.

"More broadly, I haven't seen many innovations with that new API. It's mostly a REST API, with some interesting concepts" that's completely fair, it was designed to be somewhat familiar if you've done REST API work before. I'd point out that there are legitimate new and interesting things in the data - poll results, pinned Tweets, and above all, annotation / topic information. There are also some changes and redactions, and a TON of cleanup of all those perpetual "null" values that were just leftovers from the past. If there are things you think we should be making available, UserVoice is your friend, we are listening!

"The API quotas are still very low...
I also have this feeling that this new API isn't targetting small developers"

I hear that, too, from you and other active developers. It's a little bit buried in the current docs, but if you check out the FAQ for the new Projects concept, it is not our intention to permanently cap apps. We are not yet in a place to say what the options are, but we definitely want to enable use of the API platform at scale where we can do so. Again, I'd ask you to stay tuned for updates!

Final point on the lack of functionality - yep, we know this. The v2 rollout will take time, and it takes engineering effort to build a whole new API on a new technical foundation. Be assured that yes, posting Tweets (with stuff like polls in the Tweets!) is on the horizon, but it could be a way out. Really appreciate your feedback as we head there, and please keep sharing what you think, if we don't hear from you all, we don't know what you're feeling. Thank you!

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frenchcooc profile image
Corentin Author

Thanks a lot Andy for taking the time to read through this post and giving all of us more context about the new version. I definitely understand this is not easy to release a whole new API and it requires tons of work.

I'm really glad that OAuth 2.0 is on the way and looking forward for the next features to come. Really appreciate that you are taking feedback from the community. To all the engineers and DevRel working on it, keep up the great work ;)