Twitter WordPress plugins and OAuth

As you may know, Twitter has a new authentication method that lets you use third party Twitter applications and WordPress plugins without them storing your password. The move to OAuth will mean increased security and a better user experience overall. Applications won’t store your Twitter username and password, and if you change your password, the plugins will continue to work.

If you are using any WordPress plugin that connects with Twitter, you should update to the latest version that supports OAuth. Otherwise the plugins are not going to work. I personally use “Twitter Tools” plugin on my client’s Blogs and in some of my sites and I updated to version 2.4 for full compatibility with OAuth. You need to register each of your sites using this plugin in Twitter. (see picture above). The great news is that you can use your site’s name where it says: “about 10 minutes ago via WpThemesPlanet in reply to WordPress”. Instead of “BlackBerry” or “TweetDeck” You can see your own site’s name.

With this new feature, you still individually approve each application before using it, and you can revoke access at any time. To see which applications you have authorized or to revoke access, just go to the Connections section under Settings.

In order for Twitter applications to access your account, developers have been able to choose one of two authentication methods: Basic Authentication or OAuth. Both require your permission, but there is an important difference. With Basic Auth, you provide your username and password for the app to access Twitter, and the application has to store and send this information over the Internet each time you use the app. With OAuth, this isn’t the case. Instead, you approve an application to access Twitter, and the application doesn’t store your password.

Besides Twitter WordPress plugins, many other apps, including Echofon, TweetDeck, Twitterrific, Seesmic, and Twitter for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, are already using OAuth. The same feature explained above, applies for all these other applications.