Of course, as John Gruber points out (warning: salty language), if you use Twitter with multiple accounts, the oAuth process will make the initial setup process distinctly more frustrating: After using oAuth to log in with your first account via the Web, you'll need to log out of the Twitter website and log back in with the next account to connect it via oAuth. And you'll repeat that log out, log in dance for each account you want to set up.
Twitter apps formerly accustomed to relying on the more native-feeling xAuth experience will now require a similar in-app oAuth Web view, either as their sole approach to logging in, or only when users first attempt to access direct messaging after previously logging in via xAuth.
There are a few Twitter apps that will be excluded from Twitter's new oAuth requirement: Twitter's official clients across all platforms. Twitter developer Ryan Sarver confirmed -- via a tweet, naturally -- that the service's own apps aren't subject to rules for third-party developers.
Various third-party developers on Twitter complained -- to each other, to Sarver, and to the public at large -- about this authorization change. Some developers are worried that the Twitter experience will now necessarily feel lousier in their apps when it comes time to log in, and consider Twitter's self-exclusion from the oAuth requirement unfair.
Back in March, Twitter famously (and controversially) clamped down third-party apps. In kicking off that uproar, Sarver wrote:
...Developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no.
That stance has already cost Mac users much further development of at least one popular Twitter client. On May 16 -- prior to Twitter's oAuth announcement -- the developer of Kiwi published a melancholy blog post announcing that he's stopped further development on Kiwi (save for bug fixes), because of his perception that "3rd party clients are not wanted" by Twitter. "Twitter," he wrote, "has been slowly chipping away at the fun" of making such clients. Today -- again, in tweet form -- he wrote:
So glad I threw in the towel on Kiwi when I did. Wish I had given up on Twitter sooner.
Gedeon Maheux, the co-founder of the Iconfactory, which is the company behind Twitterrific, posted a tweet of his own:
Very very soon you will be able to interact with Twitter in just one way. Their way. #writingisonthewall
In its short history, when Twitter has made controversial announcements, it's tended to stick by them. The company never recanted on "The answer is no," and there's little reason to believe the company will backpedal on this oAuth decision, either. Whether the developers behind popular third-party Twitter apps will make the necessary changes to remain fully compatible with the service remains to be seen. And if they do make this change, there's no certainty that they'll be willing to make further updates when Twitter's third-party requirements are updated next.