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Ost to Ost

Ost to Ost – About a month ago the owner of a trademark on the name State contacted us.

We had to change our name.

Concurrently we were dealing with an existential threat: that Twitter might classify our product as a client and thus limit our access to their data.

What followed was a month of upheaval.

Galen moved from Brooklyn to San Francisco and I set about reworking our client-side code to enable us to add features and services more quickly and to scale gracefully across devices.

Both of us worked on our naming and Twitter challenges.

Now I’m happy to report that we’ve resolved both of these challenges and I’d like to talk about how our product will change as a result.

First, our product is now named Ost and you can find us at useost.com and @useost on App.net and Twitter.

Ost sprung from playing around with acronyms related to what we aspire to help people do: organize, share, and transfer their data in the cloud.

The connotation I enjoy most is from prost in German, meaning “cheers!”

Second, thanks to a helpful introduction from Nick Chirls, we’ve been in touch with Twitter’s developer relations team to find a way for Ost to continue using Twitter data.

To that end we’re making some changes to how Ost displays tweets.

One minor change is to comply with Twitter’s Display Requirements which will cause the tweets you see in Ost to behave similarly to those you see elsewhere, though we will continue to provide unique features like link previews.

More significantly, we’re removing the Home Timeline resource from Ost as Twitter considers it duplicative of the core Twitter product.

We think this presents an interesting challenge, and we’re excited to tackle it.

We’ll be pushing the Display Requirement change in the next couple weeks along with the client-side reworking.

We’ll remove the Home Timeline resource when we transition to Twitter’s new 1.1 API in a couple months.

To mitigate the impact of losing the Home Timeline we are working on some new features based on Twitter Lists (a powerful feature that is deemphasized in the first party clients) that we think you will enjoy.

Coming out of a month where our future felt uncertain at times, I’m thrilled to be working with a new name, a new codebase, and a clear road ahead.

We’re striving to build something great for our users and we value your support throughout the process.