Analysis: Twitter is better thanks to third-party apps Michael Sippey, director of consumer products at the San Francisco company, began by talking about Twitter's recent push into "expanded tweets" - allowing certain developers and publishers a way to include more information in their tweets than the standard 140 characters will allow. Full headlines, introductory paragraphs, the Twitter handle of the author - all part of the expanded tweets feature, whose launch partners include the San Francisco Chronicle. Related to that, we've already begun to more thoroughly enforce our Developer Rules of the Road with partners, for example with branding, and in the coming weeks, we will be introducing stricter guidelines around how the Twitter API is used. An API, for the uninitiated, is an application programming interface - a way for apps and online services to talk to each other. Among many innovations, Tweetie invented the concept of "pulling" down on the timeline to refresh it - a gesture that quickly made its way into countless other apps, including Facebook's and (as of iOS 6) Apple's Mail client for iPhone. [...] again, whom do you trust more to build a beautiful mobile showcase for those new features - a company like Tapbots, or the company that turned turned Tweetie into the current version of Twitter for iPhone? The prospect of third-party apps dying a sudden death has been met with generalized panic around geekier corners of the Internet. Nova Spivack, CEO of the "social dashboard" company Bottlenose, wrote an impassioned plea to Twitter executives that they reconsider new API restrictions. Makers of third-party clients played a crucial role in helping Twitter grow to its current size; it seems only fair that Twitter stands by them as it grows into its next incarnation.