It's well known that Twitter has been having many a troubles with income, and this is just one of the ways they're trying to solve them. After all, most of their income seems to be coming from various investments, which is never good.
Besides investments, they make money via the use of "Promoted" posts and trends, which only show up on their web site and their own clients. That's problematic when it comes to the value of promoting tweets and trends, as over a fifth of Twitter's traffic is via 3rd party clients.
Twitter has absolutely no way to capitalise on this traffic.
So Twitter did the only thing it could do, limiting the impact of these apps. It couldn't outright remove these apps, as it would cause immense confusion among the Twitter population.
Twitter isn't perfect
While Twitter isn't the devil, they certainly aren't perfect. The better solution would have been to allow app developers to buy user tokens in bulk.
This is great, because any app that reaches that limit must have some form of income model in place themselves, and then they would be able to pay Twitter for the privilege of making money from their system. After all, Twitter is a free service, but app developers are making a crap ton of money from it.
John Snow has an app. He sells this app for £3 per user. This app is so good, he manages to get over 100,000 people wanting to use his app. Now, he must pay, say, 15% of the apps price to Twitter to receive a user token. Twitter, and John Snow is now making money.
What's great about this is, even for the free apps, Twitter could make another income source, rather than paying for these tokens, you can choose to display these promoted tweets and trends.
Yes, they currently don't offer this, but I'm pretty sure that if you emailed them on a case-by-case basis, you'll come up with some kind of agreement.
If you agree with this post, tell your friends about it, and lets hope someone at Twitter HQ read it and agree with it too!
Twitter isn't the devil, but they're certainly not perfect. They're trying to make money like every other company that ever did exist.