At Twitter’s developer conference, Chirp, they announced a new (or old) feature that has caught my interest: User streams. This new API will allow developers to stream twitter activity to end-users in real-time. This was demonstrated at the conference using the web version of Twitter and TweetDeck. As activity occured in the web browser, TweetDeck updated automatically without polling or refreshing.
Seems cool right?
I thought so too since Twitter neutered real-time tracking a while ago and I thought it was back. Then they did a quick segment on the “firehose” and kind of glossed over it. This segment mentioned partners like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo, but said nothing about how it could possibly tie to this User Stream API.
I got to wondering: Is the User Stream API using the firehose or some sub-set of it? Hmmmm.
At any rate, the technology does look good from the demo, but as with anything Twitter, I will wait and see the final implementation before making a judgement call. You can continue to watch Chirp live on http://justin.tv/twitterchirp.
Update: Added a video of the demonstration at Chirp for you all to enjoy!