26
Feb
unnamed (2)

More than a few Twitter power users were upset when Falcon Pro, the popular Android Twitter client, hit its 100,000 user token limit and became nigh useless for new or returning users. Developer Joaquim Vergès has resorted to an unconventional approach to get the word out about Twitter's draconian API policies: he's raised the price of the formerly $1 app to an eye-popping $132.13 (€100), ostensibly to discourage people from actually downloading it. Those who formerly purchased it can re-download it via Google Play's standard method, though logging in may be impossible.

He posted the following message in the app description by way of explanation:

** ATTENTION PLEASE READ THIS **

** TOKEN LIMIT REACHED - DO NOT BUY - WORKS ONLY FOR ONLY FOR EXISTING USERS **

** THE APP WILL NOT ACCEPT NEW USERS BECAUSE OF TWITTER LIMITATIONS (100k tokens max) **

Help me Extend the access token limit by signing this petition :http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/extend-falcon-pro

And Please RELEASE your access token from the Twitter settings on the web if you're not using the app anymore.

Twitter implemented the 100,000 user token limit on apps last fall (or twice as many as it had at the time, if the app already had more than 100,000), to the consternation of users and tech media alike. While the company hasn't given a satisfactory answer as to its reasoning, many assume that they're pushing users towards the web interface and official applications (which leave a lot to be desired) for advertising revenue, while discouraging third-party apps. This has been widely interpreted as a betrayal of the developers and users that helped make Twitter into the gargantuan service it is today.

While the shift in price for Falcon Pro is entertaining, it might not be the best way to go about it - at least one or two people might buy the app and get a nasty shock. (Though admittedly, there's a case to be made that they deserve it.) And based on what's happened to other apps that have passed the token limit, the petition is unlikely to sway the Twitter higher-ups.

If you want to support Vergès' efforts, you can go to Twitter.com/account/settings and remove Falcon Pro from your Apps list, to open it up for another user. You could also send him a couple of bucks via the Falcon Widget Donate version, which is still in service.

Update: the official Falcon Twitter account mentioned that Twitter has denied the developer's request for additional tokens.

areyoukiddingme

The idea that Falcon doesn't provide any extra functionality beyond the official Twitter Android app is pretty ridiculous, and only lends credence to the implication that Twitter is intentionally shutting down developers. The built-in browser alone is enough to put Twitter's app to shame, to say nothing of the excellent user interface. Thanks to commenter Eric for letting us know.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    "You could also send him a couple of bucks via the Falcon Widget Donate version, which is still in service."

    Erm... why? donating won't solve the problem, money is also not the problem...

    • http://www.twitter.com/RaptorHawk Hawk

      If you like the work of a developer and want to contribute.

      • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

        I bought the app, that should have been enough, if not then the price is wrong.

      • Jeremiah Rice

        Pretty much this. A couple of bucks is not too much to encourage people to continue good work, especially if they're giving it away for free elsewhere.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

        Donating and supporting is good, but it won't solve the problem of the 100k tokens problem, it is a Twitter policy issue now.

        Better is to invite all your friends (even those not using Falcon Pro) to sign the petition, Twitter must change its stupid policy

        Twitter doesn't even offer a paid service for apps to go above the 100k tokens, or does it? like for $100/month you get extra 50k tokens for your app?

  • nickmorgs

    Twitter, you better make your app the best damn Twitter app around if you're going to force all other clients out of business.

    I don't understand why people aren't up in arms about this. I suspect the moment their twitter client of choice hits the limit they'll sit up and take notice.

    • Danilo Viana

      I think the problem is many misinformed users will buy/download a client, fail to connect and assume it's the client's fault and just download the official app.
      Well, if I can't use my favorite client then I'll try and stop using Twitter. Facebook pretty much serves the same purpose and Google+ is starting to have enough subscribers that someone will actually read my post, so it's not like I NEED Twitter.

      • John Maguire

        Take a look at the reviews on the Falcon Pro app if you can find a link to it on the Play Store (since it's now hidden it seems.) People are accusing Joaquim Vergès of theft, when of course Twitter is at fault.

    • mgamerz

      Well for me, I don't really care about twitter. I have the standard app and check maybe once a week, never post anything.

    • http://twitter.com/cthonctic Cthonctic

      I have never been a Twitter power user but gave it up completely because of shit like this. Either they loosen up their control freak tendencies a bit, or I'm just not going to go back.

      Big deal you might say, but it's a personal choice and I am not going to preach to people about how everyone has to quit Twitter either - or Facebook, for different reasons.
      (Note that I'm not accusing you of preaching, mind you)

  • RitishOemraw

    Can't he make an identical app called Falcon Pro 2 and get 100k new tokens to distribute?
    Or how does it work?

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      No, this is against Twitters policy

      • QwietStorm

        Soon it will be against their policy to tweet

      • LiamBryant

        Screw Twitter's policy. If they're going to make ridiculous rules like this that starve good quality apps off the market then they should expect to see people try to circumvent these rules any way they can.

  • moelsen8

    Why 132.13? Why 5000 or something?

    • Yorick Reuvekamp

      Because that's a hundred euros.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Ah, good explanation. I was wondering the same.

      • moelsen8

        Nice, thanks.

      • http://angrykeyboarder.com/ angrykeyboarder

        100K euros would be better.

    • http://twitter.com/Alankrut Alankrut Patel

      Why not over $9000 :-P

  • Danilo Viana

    When I first read about the limitation (and other changes to Twitter's API) it confused me in so many levels. If you don't want 3rd party apps using your service, why make a public API in the first place? If 3rd party apps used data scraping to read user data then I would be ok with Twitter protecting it's users against it, but they released an API and then pretty much made it useless AFTER many good clients surfaced. Shame on you twitter, your service deserves to fade into oblivion.

    • KamikaZee

      The 100k limit applies to clients that "emulate the core experience" of twitters app. Other apps are granted 1 million tokens afaik. At least that's what was said back when their TOS got changed

    • Andrew

      Twitter's policy is pretty damn silly. Apparently you can 'emulate the core experience' as long as you aren't popular. If users actually appreciate your app, that's when Twitter shuts you down.

  • rotz055

    Does anyone know if the app is already authorized, and then you flash a rom or get a new phone if you can log back in?

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      Each user is a token, so technically yes... however some people are having problems logging back in.

      • Eric

        I think users are over looking the "sign in" option in the upper right hand corner of the error screen where Twitter says no more authorizations are permitted. I certainly overlooked that and was able to log back in.

    • http://twitter.com/Alankrut Alankrut Patel

      If you restore your data with titanium you won't have an issue

      • rotz055

        I don't like restoring data from TiBu when flashing a new rom. Too many issues in the past.

        • http://twitter.com/Alankrut Alankrut Patel

          really? i've always used TiBu and have never faced any issues

    • Abhigyan Banerjee

      Not if you Titanium Backup and restore. Preserves your token have done this many times myself.

  • Danilo Viana

    Just read that, from those 100k users, only about 40k paid for the app.
    Can a client developer remove a token? Or just the user who connected and used the token?

    If the developer can revoke a token, then I sugest he updates Falcon Pro with anti-piracy checks (maybe with Google Licensing API?) and start revoking tokens of users who didn't pay for the app.

    • KamikaZee

      While piracy has been blamed a lot for this case, remember that each account that logs into twitter via this app eats up a token. Additionally, people that buy it, test it and then refund use up a token as well. So Imo, I think a pretty large portion of the "missing" sales stem from these 2 reasons.

      • Kuyam

        What about 2 twitter accounts for 1 purchase, would this also use up 2 tokens?

        • numpty

          Yes, afaik.

    • Stylus_XL

      Some people have pointed out that some of the 60,000 "non paid" tokens still active may account for the people who trialled the app for 15 minutes and got a refund.

  • Randy Staab

    "And Please RELEASE your access token from the Twitter settings on the web if you're not using the app anymore."

    Part of me (the selfish part) feels this may be asking a bit much.

    I understand the reasoning and how it affects those that wish to start using Falcon now, but I paid for the app and while I may not have found it worth switching to then if I release my token now I'll likely never be able to get a new one.

    Decisions, decisions. :/

    • Danilo Viana

      You're right. If it was a free app it would be a much easier choice. i myself released all my other tokens once I bought Falcon Pro and heard about the limit.

      Twitter could at least automatically release tokens for apps that didn't made any API calls in the last 3 months or something.

      • Stylus_XL

        I can see that causing an uproar - Twitter would have to warn you two or three times with a deadline first.

    • JamJamBoom

      I think this is geared more towards those who tried it out and may have returned it within the 15 minute window. Otherwise, i agree that if you paid for it it's a tough decision to make.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RDJCook Rob Cook

      Sell your token. Ignoring all other factors, assuming that if you released your Falcon Pro token and I immediately joined using Falcon Pro and thereby getting your token I could see some people turning a nice profit...

  • schmaltzy

    This might be a dumb question/idea, but can they just make a new app and call it "Falcon Pro: Second Edition" and open then have 100,000 new tokens available? I don't know what all the restrictions are, but that's what I would do if possible.

    • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

      I haven't found it yet in the TOS but if you scroll down it's mentioned that this breaks twitter's policy. I'm sure he couldn't get away with creating a new company or even DBA and trying to release Falcon Pro 2 as something else through Twitter.

    • Jeremiah Rice

      That's a violation of Twitter's TOS, and could get a developer blacklisted.

    • Danilo Viana

      Against Twitter policies

  • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

    I never even heard of Falcon Pro until this article, and I must say it seems a bit off to ask people who have purchased the application to give up it's use if they are not using it without any form of refund, since a new user will have to pay the 132.12$ fee for access. If Falcon Pro said "give up your token and we'll give out a free version to one user" that would to me be more agreeable as you are essentially trading 1 users license to another user by giving up the token.

    • http://profiles.google.com/neok182 Nathan Olonoff

      If you bought the app, you don't have to pay for it again, if you give up your token, you won't be able to log in again but your not going to have to pay for the app again.

      This issue is 100% on Twitter, not Falcon Pro. He's doing this to stop people from buying it and then complaining that it doesn't work, and thanks to the Play Stores 15 minute refund window, they're probably not getting refunds because they spend more than 15 minutes trying to get it to work.

      And they were too dumb to read the information before downloading.

      • Abhigyan Banerjee

        Although I can see this backfiring. People might still not read and a couple of dunces might still buy at $132. Joaquim Verges does NOT want lawsuits or something, no matter how much it's Twitter that's causing him the pain.

        • http://twitter.com/Xezuka Xezuka

          No lawsuit would fly because someone didn't read the price when they agreed to a purchase. Verges has nothing to worry about. (minus angry dunces =))

          • Josh Gulkewicz

            even then, if someone pays the $132 and gives it a bad rating after he was too stupid to read, and didnt refund. Verges just got $132, i'll take that.

        • John

          If people pay $132 for an app without even reading its description then they deserve to pay for their stupidity. They even have 15 minutes to catch their stupidity, so it is all on them. Let them pay lawyers fees because they didn't read the BOLDED print.

          • Andrew

            Developers can still grant refunds beyond the 15 minute window btw.. I'm sure if someone accidentally purchases this app, Verges would give them a refund.

  • Eric

    Twitter has responded to the developer and refused to increase his token limits. http://twitter.com/falcon_android/status/306340529405300736

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Many thanks for the info - story has been updated.

  • Aaron Stevens

    Meh, should have bought it yesterday, actually liked using it and have a token for it in Twitter. Just needed more than 15minutes to see if I really liked it cause I'm that picky with twitter clients.

  • Dreamcasting

    How about those record profits, Twitter?

    Right, I thought so.

  • Robert Hicks

    Wonder how many people will buy it at $132 then bitch it doesn't work. I wish Joaquim the best. This, in my opinion, is the best Twitter app out there. Hard to believe the 100k limit is already reached but only a little over 6k ratings.

  • Paul

    That's just quite shady company tactics. Twitter knows their own app sucks, so they let other dev's write good ones that actually "bind" users to their service. Once the users are hooked but can't log in using a 3rd party app for whatever reasons (new phone/released token), those have to use the twitter app.
    Just another company turned into a bunch of bastards without morals.

    • http://angrykeyboarder.com/ angrykeyboarder

      Actually, Twitter's own app is pretty decent. I find I use it more than the alternatives (I also own Falcon Pro which I never use and TweetCaster, which I use on occasion).

      • Bariman43

        Good one. I almost thought you were serious.

        • http://j.mp/scottbeamer Scott Beamer

          I'm afraid I was dead serious.

  • numpty

    Unfortunately, Twitter's motives wrt 3rd party devs are pretty clear these days -- if you write a straight-up Twitter feed reader, however good it is and how many additional or better-implemented features it has, they're going to clamp down on you because it's "the same" as theirs. They're only interested in helping you if you want to use their data in more interesting ways that they don't provide an app for themselves.

  • Nicolás Rezzano

    Falcon doesn't provide any features that their app doesn't have already.

    Good one, Twitter!

    • nickmorgs

      ..

  • garychencool

    For shit and giggles, whoever has already bought it for a dollar should post that it's an amazing $131 dollar app, etc...

  • John

    Do iOS or Desktop Twitter apps not have this type of issue?

    • BrianLipp

      a lot of the popular iOS twitter apps were made before the API change, so when it came they have a limit of double their current token usage, so they probably still have a lot of tokens left.

  • Nicolás Rezzano

    I believe u got another update here:

    Falcon for Android ‏@falcon_android

    So, sticking to the plan. Enforce security, reset keys and hope that it'll give me enough time to implement the last features.

    Falcon for Android ‏@falcon_android

    I'll keep updating the app, simply because I want to use it as my main client, and I refuse to use an outdated client.

    Abrir

  • http://bit.ly/breathlesstao Breathless

    ...wait, the official Twitter app offers functionality? That's new to me.

    • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Phoenix Bobby Phoenix

      This app does exactly the same as the official. That is why there is a limit of 100K. I use the official as there is no need for anything else. The dev needs to make it do something more to increase the limit. It's that simple. Just making it look better (or worse) does nothing for the functionality of the app.

      • ElTimo

        I'd argue that changing the layout of an app can definitely provide extra functionality. Since the default app is still optimized for phones, tablet users are kinda stuck with a suboptimal layout.

      • enomele

        So you haven't used Falcon Pro?

      • Matt

        Falcon Pro is amazing and does offer more functionality and makes it a thousand times easier to use..You've obviously never used the app

      • http://twitter.com/TwinShadow_SH Ryan

        I don't think you've used some of the third-party clients available. Falcon Pro definitely sets itself apart with additional features that Twitter would have wet dreams over. In-app browsing, in-line image viewer, dual sliding menu UI... list goes on. If the official app can show those features, that's news to me because the official client is god awful.

    • http://angrykeyboarder.com/ angrykeyboarder

      When was the last time you used it? It's pretty decent these days.

  • Potato

    Didn't the developer know about the token limit before developing? This is the problem with building off another platform.

  • Wodge

    Anyone up for switching to Heello? :D

  • http://twitter.com/Bl4ckpheniX aaron nyquist

    there must be a loop hole, where the dev could, rename and make a small change somewhere and have it considered a new app with a new 100k limit?

  • Chronus719

    So is there some way he can slightly modify the app to circumvent the token limit? Maybe changing the name of the app and posting it as a "new" app? If Twitter isn't willing to be reasonable with developers, then developers are gonna have to find ways to undermine them, plain and simple.

  • http://allaboutsamsung.de/ Christian Brüggemann

    "and only lends credence to the implication that Twitter is intentionally shutting down developers"

    OH, WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED? Seriously, this is a non-story. Twitter made pretty clear that they're not going to support Twitter clients anymore. If developers decide to continue developing them, it's their own fault. Twitter is not a service owned by the public.

    • Jaymoon

      Yes! Stop developing *another* Twitter client. Let it die, so we can finally move on to an open platform.

    • Bariman43

      No no, keep developing apps so I don't have to use Twitter's pathetic software. When one goes down, I just switch to another.

  • Drew Sanders

    I am not that big of a Twitter user to start with, but It's kind of needed for my work. Seriously considering just giving Twitter the finger and walking away at this point. Not that they care, but at least I can reconcile it with myself from a principals standpoint.

  • Brandon Fletcher

    I know this is a radical solution, but it's simple. Stop using Twitter. If they lose a measurable percentage of their user base in 2013, that's the only way to get a clear message through.

    • robnelle

      If only it would work...the number of people who know or care about this is too small to make any difference against the many millions of people who are not savvy about these things and are happy to use the default app they find on their mobile device.

    • Bariman43

      I follow far too many awesome people to just up and delete my Twitter. Instead I will endeavor to spite Twitter's bullshit as much as I can.

  • Mapplegate

    I'm starting to ask myself if Twitter offers any functionality that Google+ doesn't...

  • Leonard Krum

    Now we have so much alternatives... (identi.ca x example) leave twitter for the belibers!

  • http://angrykeyboarder.com/ angrykeyboarder

    After I heard the news the other day, I released my token. I stopped using Falcon Pro shortly after I bought it. I really didn't care for it much.

  • Jude Ibe

    For all those who want to retain their Falcon Pro login between phones. Use Titanium Backup too save a logged in instance of the data and then just restore that data on whichever phone or tablet you which to use Falcon Pro on.

  • Tim Nolte

    I have started leaving Twitter behind for Google+. Their Android app is restrictive and feature lacking. If they are going to leave 3rd-party developers behind that actually do cool things with Twitter then I'll leave them behind.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kwillsrepsbk Kevin Williams

    After flashing a new rom, I tried to log in and got revoked, but then u use titanium back up to restore my data and was able to use falcon.

  • Stefan Andersen

    Bad move, Twitter.. Bad move

  • Gerard

    Please ! Please ! Sign the petition ! Or do something else...
    This app is really awesome !

  • Nick Kelly

    The inline displaying of Instagram images alone sets this app miles above Twitter's official version.

  • Jaymoon

    I don't like being "that guy", but the developer knew this going in. When I tried the first public beta, it was well after the API changes were in place. I even thought to myself MONTHS ago, "Why would anyone make a new client that will one day be useless?"

    The simple answer to why, is the only obvious one I can see. The dev wants to be bought out. Every Twitter app just wants to be the next Tweetdeck. Gain success, raise an outcry, and then cash in. We all know what happened to Tweetdeck once Twitter purchased them ...we all started looking for alternatives. So RIP Falcon Pro, whether you get purchased, or not.

    • Forcemaker

      [Quote]
      The dev wants to be bought out. Every Twitter app just wants to be the
      next Tweetdeck. Gain success, raise an outcry, and then cash in. We
      all know what happened to Tweetdeck once Twitter purchased them
      [Quote/]

      Sorry, but that is "sad capitalist talking"... I hope there are devs outthere doing development work because OF THE WORK and not the money. Like a painter might paint for the joy and expression, but still needs to sell pictures for living.

  • Ray

    I've released my Falcon token and deleted my Twitter account. Twitter can go fuck themselves. To say that Falcon Pro offers nothing over the official app is just pathetic.

  • Bariman43

    This has just assured that I will never switch to any of Twitter's pathetic official apps. When the app I'm using goes down, I just switch to the next one. There's no shortage of them, and all of them are infinitely better than Twitter's sad offerings. I'm not even using Twitter's TweetDeck either, I'm using the far superior 0.38.2 version.

  • TwitterSucks

    Yet another reason twitter sucks.

  • Cherokee4Life

    Twitter if your going to blocks pretty much all other apps to use your API you should at LEAST allow people to make themes for YOUR app so that people could use a Falcon Pro theme for your app that cost's $1.

    makes sense to me :)
    until them I will stick to Plume!

  • Forcemaker

    I do not know, does the official Twitter client display advertisments? I would be ready to pay e.g. 1€ per month if I could freely access Twitter's services with any (not one!) client of my choice.

    Just in case that client/token limit is about getting no money because of no ads.

  • Rubén Chacín Yazbek

    Will twitter accept to give 100K tokens for a new app from the same developer? He could name it the same plus -A, -B ... -Z.

  • http://www.suniljoseph.net/ Sunil J

    What if the developer creates a new app with the same source. I guess it could be considered as violation of TOS. But what if he makes it open source so that others can create apps based on it?

  • onwuka

    Suddenly someone at twitter asks, why are all these hundred thousand new developers pointing to something.com?