Twitter’s New User Stream API In Action
The new API soon to be implemented by Twitter provides complete real-time updating of streams, whether that be your mentions, DMs, searches or timeline of those you follow. Check out the video above to see it running on my Tweetdeck.
A few days ago Twitter gave early access to Tweetdeck and Echofon, who in turn gave a few of their users access to special updated versions of their apps. I was lucky enough to get my paws on a ‘User Streams Preview’ version of Tweetdeck, there may be some left here.
As well as the real-time feeds some nice additions include the ability to see who favourites your tweets and something I’m already finding really useful – new follower notifications:
Is It Any Good?
When I try to explain Twitter to total n00bs I often describe it as a way of tapping into the global conversation. I often start my explanation with "imagine harnessing every phone conversation taking place in the world right now and being able to search that data, make charts of trends and popular topics, see who’s talking to who, from where and when". That sounds like science fiction but is exactly what’s been happening on Twitter for a few years, it’s true power having come more recently with wider adoption.
That global conversation has been accessible through the web on twitter.com and third-party services like twitscoop.com – which shows current trends in more detail – or via widely popular apps for desktop and smartphone such as Tweetdeck, Tweetie, Echofon, Twitterific, Seesmic etc but always with limits on how regularly you are updated and how many updates you can receive each hour. Having personally used this suped-up version of Tweetdeck for a few days I feel like I’ve rediscovered the magic of Twitter a little, like when I first got into it back in ’07 and felt like I’d unlocked that global consciousness. I can think of a ton of people who will find this enhancement very useful – anyone tracking a hashtag for their event or competition, tracking mentions of an individual they work with or for, news organisations watching situations develop. I can especially see how this might bring about a resurgence of the Twitter contest. Expect ‘our 20th new follower after this tweet gets a t-shirt’ in your timeline anytime soon.
So yeah, props to Twitter for moving us closer to the sci-fi dream that one day all information in the world will be updatable and accessible in real-time from anywhere. Scared or excited?