Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp was obviously a boon for WhatsApp’s founders, employees and investors, but it also proved to be a good thing for several of WhatsApp’s biggest competitors.
Twitter will turn eight in March and the Twitter API will have its birthday toward the end of the year. It’s been a long ride for something that started as sort of a side project. The service, and especially its API, saw quick growth, as the platform expanded, added features and eventually had to grow up.
In a previous post I covered six great ways to engage your API community. It was based on seeing thousands of APIs—some that received developer attention and some that fell flat. Now I have dug into ProgrammableWeb’s directory to find the features that really seem to make a difference. Comparing the top 100 APIs to the rest of the pack, it’s clear that community support is a huge differentiator.
Twitter for Websites enables you to integrate individual tweets and timelines right in your website or application. These tweets and timelines can display media, including photos, videos and article summaries. They are also fully interactive, allowing your readers to interact with them just as they would on Twitter.com.
As the number of APIs grows, more people are becoming familiar with the term. I had a taxi driver who knew about APIs, although that was in tech-heavy San Francisco. Despite becoming more known, “API” is not a term most mainstream users will use. Yet many of these same people are already asking for APIs—they’re just not using the term. Here are three ways mainstream users are asking for APIs.
In a rare API conference event appearance, Twitter graced the stage at last week’s APIDays Paris. The social giant shared some insight into current API usage among third-party developers and gave some read-between-the-lines signs of how it intends to work with API partners in future.
Sustaining an effective engagement campaign can take a surprising amount of work. You could limit yourself to following the leads from the data you collect, but following without interacting first will get you a very low follow-back ratio. More importantly, if you follow and then forget people, they may follow back, but they’ll soon forget you. A high number of followers who don’t reply to, mention or retweet your account are of no value. True engagement is long-term and repetitive.
Controlling a local database is vital for collecting tweets and users from the Twitter API. Once this is accomplished, you no longer have to worry about rate limits, API reliability or speed of access. I do most of my work with MySQL, but any server-based database can be used—even a flat file in CSV format is a viable solution for minimal storage needs.
Successful Twitter engagement is generally measured with the simple goal of gaining a high follower count, but true engagement doesn’t end with a follow-back—that is just the beginning. What you really need for success on Twitter is an ongoing conversation with like-minded individuals, folks who will provide informed feedback on your tweets, introduce you to their friends on Twitter who share your opinions and help spread your messages. This series of articles on engagement programming will show you how to use Twitter API 1.1 to move from simply following to truly engaging on Twitter.