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
As always, we are here to answer questions, and help you build
applications and services that offer value to users.
That brings up an interesting question. Suppose I'm using a web-based service like HootSuite that *isn't* using Site Streams (at least, I think they aren't using Site Streams). They're then getting 350 API calls per hour via oAuth in the "znmeb" account from their IP address. Now I log on to Twitter using the standard web app from my workstation. Do I get another 350 calls per hour because I have my own IP address, or are all IP addresses authenticated as "znmeb" sharing that 350?
A related question - how far away from production is Site Streams, and is there a plan to "encourage" services like HootSuite to migrate to Site Streams? It seems like it would be a big win for them (and all the other web-based Twitter platforms).