Twitter has told the developer community that it needs to give up creating apps for the service or if not certainly play by its rules.  

“Developers have told us that they’d like more guidance from us about the best opportunities to build on Twitter. More specifically, developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no,” Twitter Platform lead Ryan Sarver says on a developer forum about what they can and can’t do.

The comments come after Twitter shut down API access (the way a client gets access to the Twitter data) of UberMedia - the largest third party developer of Twitter clients and the soon to be owner of TweetDeck.

“Since this time last year, Twitter use has skyrocketed. We’ve grown from 48 million to 140 million tweets a day and we’re registering new accounts at an all-time record. This massive base of users, publishers, and businesses is a giant playground for developers to build their own businesses on, and this means the opportunity has grown for everyone,” says Sarver.

“With more people joining Twitter and accessing the service in multiple ways, a consistent user experience is more crucial than ever. As we talked about last April, this was our motivation for buying Tweetie and developing our own official iPhone app. It is the reason why we have developed official apps for the Mac, iPad, Android and Windows Phone, and worked with RIM on their Twitter for Blackberry app. As a result, the top five ways that people access Twitter are official Twitter apps.”

However, Twitter is blaming those that don’t follow the simple guidelines for the confusion experienced by users and therefore wants to put an end to it.

“If you are an existing developer of client apps, you can continue to serve your user base, but we will be holding you to high standards to ensure you do not violate users’ privacy, that you provide consistency in the user experience, and that you rigorously adhere to all areas of our Terms of Service. We have spoken with the major client applications in the Twitter ecosystem about these needs on an ongoing basis, and will continue to ensure a high bar is maintained,” he continues.

“We need to move to a less fragmented world, where every user can experience Twitter in a consistent way. This is already happening organically - the number and market share of consumer client apps that are not owned or operated by Twitter has been shrinking,” he writes.

So what does Twitter perceive to be the new use for Twitter’s data? Well it’s hoping third-party developers will shift from creating clients to creating ways of analysing the data that is spewed out of the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Are TweetDeck’s days numbered?

Thanks Jon