Twitter just announced a series of updates to its guidelines for third-party developers, and some of the changes should noticeably impact ordinary users. Twitter is now barring third-party apps from forcing users to automatically follow the apps' official Twitter accounts, and is also officially prohibiting developers from creating programs that follow other accounts in bulk. The company is also cracking down on sites and services that host raw users' Twitter data.

But at the same time, Twitter also says it's loosening up on some previous display requirements, such as explicitly stating that apps in written languages that read right-to-left can also display Twitter avatars on the right side too. Timestamps on third-party apps and clients can now choose to display either the date or the time. And the Twitter logo is no longer required on individual tweets in third-party clients. The changes are in-and-of themselves minor, but together make up a lot of new material for developers to tackle. At the same time, they could help alleviate some of the complaints Twitter has received from the developer community since it began making and enforcing stricter guidelines last summer.