I don’t link to Daring Fireball often, because nearly all of you subscribe, but this deserves it. Gruber is absolutely right—Daring Fireball: Twitter’s new OAuth policy for third-party applications is a shit sandwich:
I can’t think of any reason why Twitter would force native apps through OAuth other than to create a hurdle that steers users toward Twitter’s own official native clients. Because Twitter’s official clients aren’t going to force users to jump through OAuth to authenticate — they’re still going to simply ask for your username and password in a simple native dialog box.
I love Twitter as a service, but what’s becoming clear is management doesn’t have a clear idea for what Twitter is and where they’re heading. As a result, they’re stepping on third-party developers’ toes for no good reason.
The only good explanation for this that I can see is Twitter wants all of their users using first-party applications, like Twitter’s iPhone application, so they can begin advertising to them like a normal web service. Too bad; there’s serious potential for making money using other, less annoying options.
They either don’t know how to make decent revenue by taking advantage of Twitter as a communications utility, or simply don’t think it’s possible. Either way, that’s disappointing.