The changes to the Twitter API continue to upset, confuse and frustrate developers. The latest feature of the Twilio Voice API allows anyone to make complete call queues and the Twilio team is sharing some code for creating a metrics dashboard. Plus: hackathon winners, DoubleClick API updates and 24 new APIs.
As we’ve seen with Twitter’s announcement of the changes to the new Twitter API, the company’s main focus seems to be on enterprise and of course, the bottom line. This becomes even more evident with the news that HootSuite (an enterprise-driven Twitter client) is partnering with Twitter to sell advertising on Twitter.
Changes to the Twitter API make it clear that the company is doing what it feels is best for the majority of its users. The priority seems to be the gaining of even more users and the complete control of how tweets are displayed to them; albeit at the expense of third-party developers.
With the rise in big data, organizations are constantly looking to analyze the large amounts that is being generated. The challenge is not just to analyze the large data but also be able to visualize this in almost real time. Topsy, the company that currently manages the largest index of public social data on various networks like Twitter and Google Plus, has released Topsy Pro Analytics (check out the Topsy API) that addresses both those points and gives organizations a powerful analytics tool to gain insight into historical and real-time Twitter data.
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.