Well I guess this old blog article is irevs now:

                   How Twitter Dropped The Ball on Whitelisting Apps:           

If you've been wondering about whitelisting and why your app never got Approved 
[or Denied] then read on.

Several weeks ago I posted a ticket per Twitter ordinance on getting a 
registered Twitter App Whitelisted. The app was for helping users manage their 
lists and use an intuitive drag and drop interface. To get the data for lists 
we only receive 20 users on a list of up to 500 twitter users [20 lists per 
user]. So I needed to be whitelisted to go to product launch.

The benefits include but are not limited to an increase from 350 REST calls to 
20,000 per hour. Realistically a lot of apps are requesting a lot of data, and 
350 calls per hour just does not cut it. See just how much Twitter cares about 
their developers, the very people that Drive traffic and make it what it is 
today. A singularity. A massive ecosystem of it?s own. And it's all powered by 
Apps. While I waited patiently, this message thread popped up on the official 
TwitterAPI List. You need to read it all to get it in context. This is about a 
week old.

How often should you send a request to be whitelisted? I am finding that in the 
span of time while I?m waiting for an answer, the nature of my project has 
changed drastically. So I then resend a request. Does this affect whether you 
will be whitelisted or not? And should I wait for a rejection before 
rerequesting in the future? 

Thank you,

- Cassie
Hi Cassie,

We're almost always behind in processing whitelisting requests. Due to volume, 
we can't respond to all requests. If the nature of your project has changed, 
you should feel free to re-apply ? even if you were already granted whitelisted 
status, as the nature of a project is certainly taken into account in the 
decision making process. Feel free to follow up with me privately at list with 
the username you?ve filed a whitelisting request under for expanded discussion. 
Thanks, Taylor [Taylor Singletary, @episod]
We're almost always behind in processing whitelisting requests. Due to volume, 
we can't respond to all requests?

Really? Is not responding at all to whitelisting requests an official policy? 
If you mean you can't respond quickly, that makes sense. If you mean you can't 
approve all requests, I agree. But is no response at all a smart, polite, or 
even efficient way to deal with requests from developers? It seems like a 
guaranteed way to create discouraged developers. I know you try hard to be 
responsive, Taylor, and the fact that you will discuss this off-list proves 
this. So I'm guessing this is a policy you are just repeating. Maybe you can go 
back to management and point out the flaws in this approach? 

If a decision is made to deny a whitelist request, and at least a few minutes 
are spent on that decision, wouldn't it make more sense to reply with a denial? 
Otherwise the developer is left to repeat the request, which must use up more 
time for Twitter HQ than sending a denial in the first place. Repeated requests 
with no response leaves the developer with the opinion that Twitter doesn't 
want a third-party ecosystem, which clearly isn't the case. It also fills this 
list with messages from annoyed developers, which doesn't send a good message 
to new developers.

Why can't someone reply with "Sorry, we can't approve this request right now 
due to insufficient resources, but we appreciate your interest in Twitter 
development. Please try again in the future, as we may have more resources 
available at that time" How many seconds does it take to send this type of 


Hi Adam, 

The lack of response to some requests is due more to them going unread than 
being explicitly denied. I make a best effort to keep up with the volume of 
requests and approve or deny each that I process (balanced with my other 
responsibilities). These produce an email response. To be honest, the volume of 
requests is so high that we have to take a "divide & conquer" approach, 
processing recent and dated requests alike. Obviously, this is suboptimal, 
which is why I welcome direct inquiries to help focus attention. I can't really 
disclose the volume of requests, but it is more than you probably imagine and 
the vast majority of them are not actionable due to an insufficient amount of 
information. We're actively working on a better model for whitelisting as a 
concept & execution, as well as providing a more actionable funnel to ensure 
that the current situation of developers falling through the cracks is 

Taylor [@episod] 

This is a reasonable response, and I'm not trying to give you personally a hard 
time. I'm hoping that Dick, Ev, Ryan, and other managers will see this and 
realize that they are turning away developers by not devoting enough resources 
to this issue. I'm sure if they were asked, they?d say they devote huge 
resources to developers, which they do. Do they really know that developers who 
ask to build an app on Twitter aren't even responded to? Do they really believe 
that will work in their favor over the long run? 

Let's flip it around a minute and view this from the developers' perspective. 
Every whitelist request comes from a developer who might have a client. Do you 
really want developers telling clients that Twitter is so busy they won't even 
reply if I ask to build you an app. Don't bother trying to integrate Twitter 
with your site. Let me build something for you with Facebook instead?

Maybe linking to a page with an explanation like you just gave would be better 
than just replying with "we can't respond to all requests." Although the real 
solution is for Twitter to make the whitelisting criteria more transparent, and 
reasons for rejection more clear. At a minimum every developer who cares enough 
to ask to create a Twitter app deserves a response. I believe it is possible to 
write code that will do this for you. 

You keep plugging away at that backlog, Taylor, and I'll keep lobbying for more 
resources. I have an active interest in seeing Twitter succeed as a developer 

I had to post the whole thread to keep it in context. Twitter is a company 
without a viable revenue stream and they play favorites. I personally know 
someone that is friends with several Twitter employees and has several 
whitelisted apps no problem. It's a favorites game. Does Twitter care about 
it's developers? Based on their managerial and personal standpoint I would say 
that is a definitive no. Does Taylor care about the backlog? Does his divide 
and conquer approach work? No. It hasn't worked; and I know this because I also 
never received even a "declined".

Why is Twitter cutting out Developers and playing favorites in the Alley?

On Feb 10, 2011, at 4:43 PM, Ryan Sarver wrote:

> Beginning today, Twitter will no longer grant whitelisting requests.
> We will continue to allow whitelisting privileges for previously
> approved applications; however any unanswered requests recently
> submitted to Twitter will not be granted whitelist access.
> Twitter whitelisting was originally created as a way to allow
> developers to request large amounts of data through the REST API. It
> provided developers with an increase from 150 to 20,000 requests per
> hour, at a time when the API had few bulk request options and the
> Streaming API was not yet available.
> Since then, we've added new, more efficient tools for developers,
> including lookups, ID lists, authentication and the Streaming API.
> Instead of whitelisting, developers can use these tools to create
> applications and integrate with the Twitter platform.
> As always, we are committed to fostering an ecosystem that delivers
> value to Twitter users. Access to Twitter APIs scales as an
> application grows its userbase.  With authentication, an application
> can make 350 GET requests on a user’s behalf every hour. This means
> that for every user of your service, you can request their timelines,
> followers, friends, lists and saved searches up to 350 times per hour.
> Actions such as Tweeting, Favoriting, Retweeting and Following do not
> count towards this 350 limit. Using authentication on every request is
> recommended, so that you are not affected by other developers who
> share an IP address with you.
> We also want to acknowledge that there are going to be some things
> that developers want to do that just aren’t supported by the platform.
> Rather than granting additional privileges to accommodate those
> requests, we encourage developers to focus on what's possible within
> the rich variety of integration options already provided. Developers
> interested in elevated access to the Twitter stream for the purpose of
> research or analytics can contact our partner Gnip for more
> information.
> As always, we are here to answer questions, and help you build
> applications and services that offer value to users.
> Ryan
> --
> Ryan Sarver
> @rsarver
> -- 
> Twitter developer documentation and resources: http://dev.twitter.com/doc
> API updates via Twitter: http://twitter.com/twitterapi
> Issues/Enhancements Tracker: http://code.google.com/p/twitter-api/issues/list
> Change your membership to this group: 
> http://groups.google.com/group/twitter-development-talk


Edward Hotchkiss

Twitter developer documentation and resources: http://dev.twitter.com/doc
API updates via Twitter: http://twitter.com/twitterapi
Issues/Enhancements Tracker: http://code.google.com/p/twitter-api/issues/list
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