Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Twitter API Limit Changed Using Third Party Apps - Why We All Hit Twitter Jail In Parties

Anyone who does Twitter Parties knows you always have a back up account because on those busy party days and nights you get locked out of your main account by hitting your API limit or known to us party participants as "Twitter Jail". Twitter Jail is when you have reached your maximum tweet limit either for the day or for the hour. Twitter has these limits in place to help those behind the scenes manage services better.  As per Twitter's Support Information 

What happens if I hit a limit?
If you do reach a limit, we'll let you know with an error message telling you which limit you've hit. For limits that are time-based (like the direct messages, Tweets, changes to account email, and API request limits), you'll be able to try again after the time limit has elapsed.
The Tweet limit of 1,000 updates per day is further broken down into semi-hourly intervals. If you hit your account update/Tweet limit, please try again in a few hours after the limit period has elapsed.

I previously used to be able to do three big twitter parties an hour for three hours straight without hitting my API limit, but within the past month or so that has all changed. I can barely get through two parties an hour for two hours without hitting twitter jail mid tweet through the second hour. I've seen everyone's tweets saying wow how did I hit jail so fast, or I barely tweeted, twitter is being wonky. YES we've all hit "twitter jail" at one point and for those of you who are feeling like you can't get as many tweets in the past month before hitting that API limit I'm here to tell you that you are not crazy! You are indeed getting fewer tweets per hour and day when participating in parties using Tweet Chat or TweetGrid.

This lower API limit doesn't apply to those that use twitter directly for parties, tweeting, or those who use Tweet Deck. Why does Tweet Deck not fall under a third party application? Simple Anwer - Tweet Deck is owned by Twitter. This should explain why when you get the fail whale on Twitter's main site you also lose your feed on Tweet Deck.

Now for those of us who are veteran Twitter Party goers we use third party applications to track the hashtag, hosts, and chatter for the parties. These third party apps are what is lowering your API limit per day and/or hour. How is that you ask? Twitter has changed their policies regarding use of third party applications to tweet. This recently [month or so ago] change is what now is causing all of us to see all our fellow tweeps on their so called "jail" names mid way through any given party! TweetGrid, Tweet Chat, along with Hootsuite are all considered third party applications that when used to keep track of and/or keep up with anything on Twitter (including Twitter Parties) will cut your tweeting short!

Twitter's logic behind changing the API Limits for third party applications is to try and drive the traffic back to their main site or get more people involved in using Tweet Deck. Honestly, I use Tweet Deck daily because it is live stream of updates thanks to Adobe Air Technology. The use of Tweet Deck has also given me a quick on the trigger advantage in first answer or first so many answers parties and contest. I can normally get a RT or reply tweet in there before anyone else because of this live streaming ability of Tweet Deck. 

So there you have it the most asked Twitter question I keep seeing in the past month, why do I keep ending up in Twitter Jail so soon? Now you have an answer and we can all thank Twitter for lowering the third party applications API Limit! To me, this is nothing other than a #FAIL and selfish act on Twitter's behalf! 

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