Yesterday we were contacted by the Twitter API team and informed that WordTwit Pro‘s use of the API was not inline with the Twitter’s terms of service for third-party applications. The reasons given by the Twitter API team were:
“[WordTwit Pro] facilitates serial posting across multiple accounts, tweet/retweet automation, tweet branding and automated affiliate advertising.”
After reviewing the alleged violations by the Twitter API team, we are of the opinion that the reasons given are not justified based on the typical use cases of WordTwit Pro users.
First, WordTwit Pro does allow a user to push a tweet out to multiple accounts simultaneously. This feature is meant to simplify management of a website where new post information would routinely by posted to multiple accounts. For example, a WPtouch-related post on BraveNewCode could be pushed to the @wptouch and @bravenewcode Twitter accounts. This functionality is by no means specific to WordTwit Pro; it exists in almost all Twitter clients available today.
Second, while WordTwit Pro does allow a user to automate certain tweets or retweets, all of these essentially have to come at the request of the end-user. This represents a form of tweet scheduling, which is also a standard feature in many Twitter services and clients.
With regards to tweet branding and affiliate advertising, we are ultimately at a loss. Other than the WordTwit Pro application registered with Twitter (which ultimately causes each tweet to be associated with WordTwit Pro), there is no branding on tweets done by BraveNewCode or WordTwit Pro. Each user has the ability to manually edit a tweet before it goes out, which is no different than most Twitter clients. We also provide a very detailed Tweet Log in WordTwit Pro, which shows every tweet that is generated by WordTwit Pro, even if they were not successfully tweeted.
Ultimately Twitter has suspended the OAuth token currently used by WordTwit Pro, which has caused WordTwit Pro installations using the default configuration to stop working. We have tried to communicate with the Twitter API team to work towards resolving the misunderstanding, but as of right now the token is suspended and they have not responded to our most recent attempts to open a dialog or to educate them further about our product.
To simplify the process of setting up WordTwit Pro, we included a generic WordTwit Pro OAuth token registered with Twitter. Since we do not know the nature of the original complaint with Twitter, we can only assume a person or company witnessed some form of SPAM associated with an installation of WordTwit Pro and reported the application in violation. Since we do not control any portion of a WordTwit Pro installation or any tweets that are generated once a user installs the software, we are unable to intervene when any users potentially abuse the product.
Going forward we are forced to remove the default token within WordTwit Pro; this means all end-users will have to register a custom application with Twitter to use with their installation. That also means each user will be responsible for abiding by Twitter’s terms of service for use of the Twitter API. Since the feature to add a custom OAuth application already exists within WordTwit Pro, current installations already using this feature are not affected by the revoked token.
If you have been affected by this, please visit this page for information on how to create a custom application with Twitter and configure WordTwit Pro to use it.
We will release version 3.3 of WordTwit Pro shortly, which will require custom applications for new installations. If you have been using the custom application feature already and you upgrade, your installation should not be affected by this change.
We apologize to anyone who has been affected by this incident, but as the token was revoked by Twitter without any prior warning, we were not able to resolve any concerns without the downtime experienced by customers.