HelloTxt: An API for Status Messages

Kevin Farnham, February 16th, 2009


Hellotxt
, the service that lets you simultaneously update your status and read your friends’ status across many services, has now released an API. There is a long list of microblogging and social networking sites that Hellotxt interacts with, ranging from Facebook and LinkedIn to of course Twitter and FriendFeed (see their home page below).

hellotxt

Given how many online users today have an account on at least several of these services, the ability to update your status on all of them simultaneously can be a real time-saver (and note that it does not blast all these services at once, the user can select which get notified when). As Pete Cashmore noted:

This is useful for power users who network across multiple sites but don’t want to visit them individually to post status updates. The API release puts that functionality in the hands of web developers.

The HelloTxt API enables developers to retrieve the status updates of their friends who are registered on Hellotxt and to update their own Hellotxt status. Thus, the RESTful HelloTxt API is a read-write web service given that it allows status updates over HTTP POST calls. Initially all data is returned as XML although eventually for JSON and Atom responses will be supported. Currently the API itself is in private beta, so interested developers can use this request form for access.

A somewhat related API in our directory is the Ping.fm API from the folks at Ping.fm. It too allows you to post updates to multiple services at once.

Just as it saves time for end users of HelloTxt, the API may provide developers with a way to streamline development by leveraging a single API to update and read from multiple services at once. HelloTxt provides a very useful service and it will be great to see what time-saving social apps and tools developers build on the API.

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