Twitter updates terms of service

11 Sep 2009

As Twitter grows and becomes increasingly mainstream, it has decided to update the terms of service to reflect this, while maintaining user ownership over its own tweets and control over the Twitter brand name and copyright.

“We recognised potential early but users and platform developers would demonstrate how much more Twitter could be,” said co-founder Biz Stone. “Fostering an open and increasingly important network is not as easily dismissed as it once was, but it’s still fun!”

Four areas Twitter has concentrated on are: advertising, ownership, APIs and spam.

“The revisions more appropriately reflect the nature of Twitter and convey key issues such as ownership. For example, your tweets belong to you, not to Twitter,” Stone added.

Some of the terms are pretty straight forward: if you’re using a third-party Twitter app, your tweets are still your tweets, and if someone wants to print a book or T-shirt based on your 140 character nuggets of wisdom, then they need your permission.

Another thing Twitter has focused on: its definition of what constitutes spam. If, for example, you only have a few followers but you are following a large number of people, you’re not over enthusiastic, you’re most likely a spammer.

If your updates are mostly links rather than actual information, this would also be under suspicion.

Finally, Stone used the post to reiterate that the micro-blogging service would not rule out the idea of opportunities around commercial usage and advertising. Sounds like something is a-brewing in this area!

Photo: Twitter has grown online, and its new terms of service reflect its expansion.

By Marie Boran, via