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Cliquez ici pour la version anglaise / original English version here

Twitter, quel type d’oiseau deviens-tu ? Es-tu toujours le mignon petit oiseau que tout le monde adorait ou deviens-tu un rapace effrayant ? Il faut clarifier les choses au plus vite.

Nous demandons à Twitter de ne pas trahir la confiance et la bonne volonté de son écosystème de millions de développeurs et d'utilisateurs. Et nous demandons à Twitter de clarifier dès maintenant ses intentions concernant ses APIs. 

Plus spécifiquement, nous adressons les demandes suivantes à Twitter:

1. Tenez votre promesse d’être une plateforme ouverte. Soutenez le web ouvert. Gardez vos APIs ouvertes, comme vous l'avez promis depuis le début. Si, pour couvrir les coûts de cette ouverture, vous voulez y insérer des ads ou imposer que les Tweets apparaissent d'une certaine façon, pas de problème - chacun peut s'y adapter. Mais ne les fermez pas ou ne rendez pas les APIs inutilisables ou dans des condititions si strictes qu'elles deviendraient de fait fermées: ce serait trahir notre confiance, et vos propres termes d'utilisation de vos APIs.

2. Clarifiez vos intentions auprès de la communauté des développeurs le plus rapidement possible. Ne laissez pas cette situation se prolonger plus longtemps. Et à l'avenir, ne lancez pas de rumeurs vagues et effrayantes concernant vos APIs, et ne laissez pas de telles rumeurs se développer des semaines sans réponse officielle de votre part visant à rassurer les utilisateurs. Une telle conduite porte atteinte aux développeurs, entrepreneurs, clients et investisseurs dans votre écosystème. C'est un élément hostile pour ceux envers qui vous êtes redevable.

3. Respectez et soutenez l’énorme écosystème autour de votre entreprise et de votre produit. Traitez vos développeurs avec la plus grande attention. Amplifiez le pouvoir de votre réseau au lieu d'essayer de l'anéantir. Vous ferez plus de bénéfices en favorisant les effets de levier de vos réseaux au lieu de les bloquer. 

Nous appelons Twitter à prendre le bon chemin. Ne faites pas le mal, restez ouvert. Et si nécessaire, monétisez vos APIs avec des ads et une option payante pour ne pas recevoir ces ads. Mais ne fermez pas les APIs et ne modifiez pas vos termes d'utilisation au point de ne plus les maintenir ouvertes. Voici une proposition pour le faire:

4. Permettez aux utilisateurs de choisir leur façon d'accéder à Twitter

Des millions de gens accèdent à Twitter par des applications tierces et services qu'ils aiment vraiment.

Ne tuez pas cette innovation et cette bonne volonté, et laissez le choix à vos utilisateurs. Au contraire, prenez cette diversité comme un problème positif. Monétisez-la au besoin mais ne la stoppez pas. Vous signeriez à terme l'arrêt de mort de Twitter. L'écosystème EST Twitter. Twitter est un réseau, pas un simple site internet. 

Nous appelons Twitter à prendre le bon chemin. Ne faites pas le mal, restez ouvert. Et si nécessaire, monétisez vos APIs avec des ads et une option payante pour ne pas recevoir ces ads. Mais ne fermez pas les APIs et ne modifiez pas vos termes d'utilisation au point de ne plus les maintenir ouvertes.

On en parle dans la presse: Article sur É (Libération)  


PLUS D'INFORMATIONS (en anglais)  


The Twitter APIs enable applications and services to post data to Twitter, and get data from Twitter.

For example, they are used by third-party Twitter clients, mobile Twitter apps, Twitter plugins and widgets, enterprise social media management tools, search engines, content publishing sites, and many other third-party uses of Twitter. 

These APIs are the only way to get data in and out of Twitter, and nearly a million developers use them every day. They are used indirectly by tens of millions of people every day as they use third-party apps built on them. 

The Twitter developer terms start by stating that Twitter is open: "Twitter maintains an open platform" ( ).

Twitter's growth has been largely due to third-party developers and apps that were built on Twitter's promise of "open" APIs. These apps are what spread Twitter and what created the rich tapestry of innovation and network effects that have helped the company achieve prominence so quickly.

Nearly a million developers took Twitter at their word, and poured their hearts, time, money and careers into building apps on this supposedly "open" platform's APIs. These include many popular apps that are widely used and loved by tens of millions of consumers, professionals, startups and large companies alike.

Even Twitter's top employees and engineers use these third-party apps to post to Twitter, instead of Twitter's own apps (there is much evidence of this if you look at posts by Twitter employees and what apps they were posted from).

If Twitter closes these APIs or restricts them, all of these third-party apps and all of the users who use them are at risk. 


Recently, Twitter began to generate rumors (mainly via a post on their official developer weblog) that they will be clamping down on their APIs, or perhaps shutting them altogether.

This is creating an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, doubt, and anger in the technology industry and particularly amongst those who use these APIs or apps that rely on them.

The media has taken these rumors and amplified them to panic levels. Unfortunately, Twitter has so far refused to comment or reassure anyone. But allowing these rumors to amplify is causing even more damage.

Allowing this FUD to fester and amplify in the media for weeks, without any reassurance or clarification of intent by Twitter, sends a terrible signal that the rumors might actually be true.

These rumors are harmful and are causing real economic damage to companies that currently work around these APIs. For example, investors are afraid to invest and customers are afraid to go forward, on anything that touches the Twitter APIs. Companies, products and jobs are at risk.

Why has Twitter not clarified this situation with a statement that they still intend to be "open" and that their developers should not worry? Is it because the rumors are true, or is it that Twitter isn't sure yet, or that they just don't care? None of these conclusions are good.


What is at stake here? Why does this matter? 

This is an issue that affects everyone who uses Twitter, not just technology geeks.

If Twitter shuts down their public API's to prevent 3rd party apps from accessing Twitter, or restricts these APIs, there will be many ripple effects that will dramatically change Twitter and how everyone uses it.

1. There are literally tens of millions of people and thousands of businesses using 3rd party apps that require access to these APIs. All these users -- many of whom paid for third-party apps -- would now have no choice and will have also lost their money in many cases. 

2. There are thousands of business that provide products and services based around Twitter's "open" APIs -- and at least tens of thousands of jobs at stake. Thousands of businesses have been built around the Twitter APIs -- or built on them -- and they employ a lot of people. If Twitter shuts off these APIs all those businesses and jobs could be harmed or at risk. 

3. If Twitter shuts down their APIs, it will concentrate total control over the flow of information in the Twitter network into the hands of a few people who run Twitter. That is risky and puts Twitter into a position of potentially having a chokehold on the flow of ideas around the world. Nobody should have that much control over the world's messages. For example, imagine if one company controlled all email communication. It's just too dangerous. The network should be open and Twitter's role should be to protect it's freedom, not restrict it.

4. Finally, Twitter promised to be an "open platform" - and it was this promise that led nearly a million developers and around 100 million people to connect with Twitter and make it huge.

It would be quite a betrayal of trust for Twitter to turn the tables, this late in the game, now that they are big enough not to need help from anyone. And it would be a bad move for Twitter too - because in fact, without this enormous open ecosystem, Twitter could easily become irrelevant and probably will.

The ecosystem around Twitter will move elsewhere (for example to another competing network or a new one). It will have to. Because the Internet wants to be free.


One thing is certain: If Twitter does clamp down on it's APIs it will be shooting itself in the foot, for short-term gain. And this short-term gain will not be worth it. 

It would in fact be stupid to do this -- The ecosystem is what makes Twitter powerful and special, and in fact could be leveraged into an incredible revenue source.

There is in fact a better option for Twitter. An option that does not require shutting the APIs, or charging users. It would turn Twitter into a huge ad network overnight and make a ton of money. It's probably the best way for Twitter to prosper in fact. Read more here:

While we hope this doesn't happen, if Twitter turns against developers and companies that have helped build Twitter for so many years, that will result in long-term backlash and an erosion of good-will that will damage Twitter's brand and reputation for years to come.

It will also open Twitter up to major competition from other players who will inevitably fill the gap with more open APIs.

This could be Twitter's "MySpace Moment" ... or it could be an opportunity for Twitter to stand up for its core and original principles and build an ecosystem, and an entire economy, not just one company.

In the end, the ecosystem play is bigger and will result in more revenue and network effects to Twitter than it can ever achieve on its own.

We urge Twitter to be more transparent, and to the recognize the value of this ecosystem. And most importantly, we need clarification ASAP from Twitter on these issues.

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    Nova Spivack started this petition with a single signature, and now has 11 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.