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RocketTheme Blog

So Long RokTwittie

We originally developed RokTwittie in May of 2009 when Twitter was in full swing. It was created as a very configurable and highly customizable Joomla module with many advanced features. Over the years RokTwittie has become the staple of many a Joomla and WordPress site. Unfortunately, Twitter is making changes that mean we can no longer effectively develop this extension.

What's changing with Twitter?

Over the past year, Twitter has refocused its business model and made it much harder for 3rd party application developers to integrate with the Twitter service via their API. Towards the end of 2012, Twitter announced much more restrictive changes in the use of their API with version 1.1. These included every request to be authenticated via OAuth,and much more severe rate limiting. In short, Twitter made a drastic change that made it much harder for 3rd party developers to integrate as they moved to pushing people back to the twitter.com website and their own clients.

In conjunction with this API announcement the Twitter folks announced the availability of an HTML embedded widget that can be configured to show your Twitter feed. These HTML widgets enable you to create widgets for User Timelines, Favorites, Lists, and Searches. You can do this easily yourself, but an example of the @RocketTheme user timeline is here:

Taking the widget code and pasting it into a module or widget is a very simple task and allows you to have the latest and greatest Twitter functionality.

As you can see this has a very clean layout and they offer a dark version also. Unfortunately there currently is not much that can be styled, only the base light vs. dark layout and a link color. This seems to be enough for most cases, but Twitter has mentioned that more customization and functionality for this widget is coming in the future.

What does this mean for RokTwittie?

The new API changes and their severe rate limiting and other 3rd-party restrictions, means that continued support of RokTwittie is causing more problems than it's solving. We have come to the conclusion that Twitter is only going to get more restrictive and the best solution is just to use the Twitter-provided widget if you want to have a Twitter feed on your site. So it is with a heavy head that we must say good bye to RokTwittie, and over the next few weeks, the RokTwittie extension will be removed from our demos, downloads, RocketLaunchers, etc and will no longer be supported. We will however be closely monitoring the Twitter blogs and API announcements and if they change their rules to better support 3rd party developers, we might bring it back from the ashes.