Requesting Whitelisting for Rate Limit

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Cassie Lynn

Oct 19, 2010, 7:12:58 PM10/19/10
to Twitter Development Talk

How often should you send a request to be whitelisted? I am finding
that in the span of time while I'm waiting for an answer, the nature
of my project has changed drastically. So I then resend a request.
Does this affect whether you will be whitelisted or not? And should I
wait for a rejection before rerequesting in the future?

Thank you,
- Cassie

Taylor Singletary

Oct 20, 2010, 12:21:41 PM10/20/10
Hi Cassie,

We're almost always behind in processing whitelisting requests. Due to volume, we can't respond to all requests. If the nature of your project has changed, you should feel free to re-apply -- even if you were already granted whitelisted status, as the nature of a project is certainly taken into account in the decision making process. Feel free to follow up with me privately at list with the username you've filed a whitelisting request under for expanded discussion.


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Adam Green

Oct 20, 2010, 12:50:54 PM10/20/10
"We're almost always behind in processing whitelisting requests. Due
to volume, we can't respond to all requests."

Really? Is not responding at all to whitelisting requests an official
policy? If you mean you can't respond quickly, that makes sense. If
you mean you can't approve all requests, I agree. But is no response
at all a smart, polite, or even efficient way to deal with requests
from developers? It seems like a guaranteed way to create discouraged
developers. I know you try hard to be responsive, Taylor, and the fact
that you will discuss this off-list proves this. So I'm guessing this
is a policy you are just repeating. Maybe you can go back to
management and point out the flaws in this approach?

If a decision is made to deny a whitelist request, and at least a few
minutes are spent on that decision, wouldn't it make more sense to
reply with a denial? Otherwise the developer is left to repeat the
request, which must use up more time for Twitter HQ than sending a
denial in the first place. Repeated requests with no response leaves
the developer with the opinion that Twitter doesn't want a third-party
ecosystem, which clearly isn't the case. It also fills this list with
messages from annoyed developers, which doesn't send a good message to
new developers.

Why can't someone reply with "Sorry, we can't approve this request
right now due to insufficient resources, but we appreciate your
interest in Twitter development. Please try again in the future, as we
may have more resources available at that time." How many seconds
does it take to send this type of email?

Adam Green
Twitter API Consultant and Trainer

Taylor Singletary

Oct 20, 2010, 1:09:45 PM10/20/10
Hi Adam,

The lack of response to some requests is due more to them going unread than being explicitly denied. I make a best effort to keep up with the volume of requests and approve or deny each that I process (balanced with my other responsibilities). These produce an email response. 

To be honest, the volume of requests is so high that we have to take a "divide & conquer" approach, processing recent and dated requests alike. Obviously, this is suboptimal, which is why I welcome direct inquiries to help focus attention. I can't really disclose the volume of requests, but it is more than you probably imagine and the vast majority of them are not actionable due to an insufficient amount of information. 

We're actively working on a better model for whitelisting as a concept & execution, as well as providing a more actionable funnel to ensure that the current situation of developers falling through the cracks is minified.


Adam Green

Oct 20, 2010, 4:13:01 PM10/20/10
This is a reasonable response, and I'm not trying to give you
personally a hard time. I'm hoping that Dick, Ev, Ryan, and other
managers will see this and realize that they are turning away
developers by not devoting enough resources to this issue. I'm sure if
they were asked, they'd say they devote huge resources to developers,
which they do. Do they really know that developers who ask to build an
app on Twitter aren't even responded to? Do they really believe that
will work in their favor over the long run?

Let's flip it around a minute and view this from the developer's
perspective. Every whitelist request comes from a developer who might
have a client. Do you really want developers telling clients that
"Twitter is so busy they won't even reply if I ask to build you an
app. Don't bother trying to integrate Twitter with your site. Let me
build something for you with Facebook instead."

Maybe linking to a page with an explanation like you just gave would
be better than just replying with "we can't respond to all requests."
Although the real solution is for Twitter to make the whitelisting
criteria more transparent, and reasons for rejection more clear. At a
minimum every developer who cares enough to ask to create a Twitter
app deserves a response. I believe it is possible to write code that
will do this for you.

You keep plugging away at that backlog, Taylor, and I'll keep lobbying
for more resources. I have an active interest in seeing Twitter
succeed as a developer ecosystem.

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 1:09 PM, Taylor Singletary

Slate Smith

Oct 20, 2010, 4:17:31 PM10/20/10
I think that real issue is that Twitter isn't profitable [The Company
itself] and as such cannot afford to hire enough staff to evaluate all
white-listing requests. Without an acquisition or a profit model of
veritable ability to hire more mgrs ... ? ...
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