Back at the Twitter’s flight conference for developers earlier this year, Jack Dorsey spoke about the relationship Twitter has with developers. He spoke about how the relationship with developers has gone sour and how Twitter wants to work with those developers to improve the relationship between them.
It is no secret why Twitter and developers have clashed, Twitter wants you to use their app and nothing else. As a result, the only way to get the full rounded experience on a mobile device is by using the official Twitter app. Twitter has heavily restricted API access to things such as native video support, support for polls, support for new mentions feature. Twitter has also restricted notifications features, so the only app which displays all of your notifications from mentions to retweets or likes in one feed is the Twitter app.
Using a third party app means you can end up missing out on some of the core features that users want when they access Twitter. This is how Twitter tries to pin you to their app and nothing more. Jack Dorsey’s talk at the Flight conference gave the impression that Twitter is now ready to start opening features to developers so that they can have a more full rounded experience on their own platform. While it is unclear what new API’s may open up over time, Twitter has launched their first one – native video support for Twitter kit.
This is nothing new if you have been using the official Twitter app, you can set videos to play automatically and natively in app. The difference for third party apps is that when you played a video in that app you would be taken away and brought to a webpage or a different app with the video content on it.
Now third party apps can play Twitter videos and GIFs without forcing users to leave the app and be taken somewhere else. The new native video support is currently live on iOS and will be coming for Android soon. Developers don’t need to do any extra work either, any app running the latest version of Twitter Kit on iOS 8+ will automatically support native video viewing.
Lets hope this is the start of more great features to come for third party developers.