Twitter laid out new developer guidelines and requirements, after much speculation about how developers would be able to use the platform in the future. Some feel pushed around by Twitter’s coming restrictions for displaying tweets, rate limiting and the requirement for major apps to gain Twitter’s permission. As it has in the past, Twitter is giving developers a long time to plan for the changes–six months.
Twitter is adding a mobile A/B testing suite to its collection of APIs-turned-employees. The Twitter-derived Klout API is rolling out a new scoring algorithm and site. Plus: Flickr highlights a cam-sharing app, TD Ameritrade API starting to bear fruit and 27 new APIs.
The recent controversy over Governor Romney’s surge in Twitter followers once again brought up the issue of the true value of a follower count. Whatever the cause of Romney’s sudden gain in followers, it is clear that follower count is a number that can be manipulated, therefore it has little value as a measurement of social media success. At the same time, follower count is the principle metric used by the press to measure the popularity of politicians and celebrities on social media. I also see this in my work with clients, who want more followers, but aren’t sure what to do with them. This is an unsustainable pattern. If follower count is the most important Twitter metric, and validity of follower count is becoming more questionable, we are racing towards a cliff.
With Instagram’s new App update, the “find your friends” on Twitter is very obviously missing. This is due to restrictions from Twitter’s side, and seems to be a snub in Instagram’s direction as many apps like Foursquare still have access to this part of the API.
Anyone worth their weight in tweets knows the importance of the ‘trending topic’. Twitter is an exceptional social tool, not only for witty banter, but for serious business too. Staying on top of trending topics is vital in the attempt to stay current and relevant, and to know what your target audience is talking about. But how relevant are the trending topics determined by Twitter? For the English speaking world; extremely relevant. For the rest of the world; not so much.
Spam is a huge problem on Twitter. In certain areas it can account for the majority of tweets. This can get in the way of delivering quality results when you try collecting tweets for aggregation sites or data mining. To get a good idea of what tweet spam looks like, try running a Twitter search for weight loss. If you watch this stream for a while, you will see bursts of identical spam tweets coming from dozens of accounts at the same time. This is a spambot network.
When Twitter API developers need to work with a list of Twitter accounts, the first instinct is to store them in a database table. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Twitter lists over the last few months, and I’ve come to realize that in some cases they have some real advantages over database lists. This column will compare the two models, and also propose a hybrid approach that combines the best of both. Let’s start with some benefits of Twitter lists that may not be obvious to everyone.
Sure, you and 20 million of your closest friends are using foursquare. But how useful is it? UK-based Lanyrd, “the social conference directory,” recently launched foursquare integration which aims to reward you with more than just points for checking into an event venue. Named after “the thing you wear around your neck at some conferences,” Lanyrd offers a user-generated directory of different events, such as technology trade shows, hackathons, and unconferences like BarCamp. Now you can connect Lanyrd to your foursquare account and, after you check in at an event venue, jump over to the Lanyrd mobile app or web site to see more event information.
The financial trading sector has witnessed a number of APIs appear on the trading scene over the past few years (e.g. TradeKing, Data Explorers, etc.). However, the data pulled from most of these financial APIs concentrates on the numbers (e.g. shares bought, shares sold, ROIC, debt metrics, etc.). Last week, “SNTMNT [launched] the first API worldwide that gives predictions based on Twitter sentiment about future stock price movement for all S&P 500 stocks.” Although the data behind the number-centric APIs has sharpened trading tools and given traders valuable insight into financial data, the SNTMNT API offers the other side of the trading coin: traders’ concerns and certainties.
Most Twitter API programmers assume that they should do their API calls from the server, and just treat a website as a display layer for the data they receive from Twitter. This is not always the best approach. There are