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
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Twitter’s intentions regarding the very popular and widely used Twitter API. The buzz started with what some developers consider an “ominous” post from Twitter published on June 29, 2012 discussing the necessity of a “consistent Twitter experience.”
Let’s get real about Twitter’s plans for their API. Even though the New York Times claims that Twitter wants to “kill“ its API and developer ecosystem, and some competitors demand that Twitter data is too valuable to society and must become part of an open, federated infrastructure, neither of these things are going to happen.
Twitter’s OAuth system is an essential part of using the API, but there are two distinct models for OAuth and good reasons for using one over the other in certain situations. The simplest way to perform an API call with OAuth is called single-user, and it is done by creating a new app at dev.twitter.com, and requesting a set of user access keys for that app. With these keys the single user will be the Twitter account that owns the app. A more complex method is to allow multiple users to authorize your app to work with their account, and then store a unique set of OAuth keys for each user. You will then be able perform API calls using each set of user keys. Choosing the best of these two programming models depends on a lot of factors:
A few months ago, Chirpify launched its e-commerce platform that turns Tweets into transactions. Now the company has entered the political scene with tweetlection, a fundraising platform for politicians.
According to a BBC news story, SpeakLike “crowd sources work to its pool of 3,000 translators, They can translate your blog into 35 languages and, incredibly, can even do tweets and live chats.” Plus, they have the SpeakLike API.
APIs serve up a lot of valuable data and resources, but the most valuable API currency right now is social data, and specifically public data from Twitter. APIs are essential in not just accessing this social data, but also delivering meaning extracted from this firehose of social data.