Changes to the microblogging service Twitter will be introduced to restrict the number of third party applications made available to users.
The changes to the Twitter Application Programming Interface (API) mean that developers of apps designed to serve more than 100,000 users must now request permission from the company in order to do so, and are unable if they do not. Meanwhile, apps which already serve more than this amount of users are able to expand a further 200% before they must gain further permission from Twitter to continue.
The move has angered users and developers alike, who say that the change will stifle the development of innovative new products.
The Twitter API has allowed for the development of extremely popular third party applications including Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Twitpic.
Director of consumer product at Twitter, Michael Sippey said the changes were intended to "deliver a consistent Twitter experience".
He continued: "If you are building a Twitter client application that is accessing the home timeline, account settings or direct messages API endpoints (typically used by traditional client applications) or are using our User Streams product, you will need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens."
"If your application displays Tweets to users, and it doesn't adhere to our Display Requirements, we reserve the right to revoke your application key".
The changes are not expected to have an immediate impact on users but have been met with a great deal of criticism from developers and users alike.