Twitter recently began testing their User Streams API. This is the full real-time Twitter fire hose pointed directly in your face. If you follow a decent number of people, the batch method that Twitter now offers becomes quite annoying. While you’re looking at one tweet, 300 new ones instantly bury it. Don’t bother, you aren’t going to find it again. While real-time tweets might sound like more to deal with, it actually makes it easier to follow what’s going on.
The Twitter Streaming API allows a desktop client to efficiently and instantly receive nearly all updates required to keep a display up-to-date. The transition to User Streams should return considerable capacity to the REST and Search APIs, increasing stability for Twitter users & developers alike. Additionally, several interesting new event types are available: Favoriting, retweeting, following, and list additions are also streamed along with direct messages, mentions, the user timeline and the home timeline.
Tweetdeck has opened up limited testing for User Streams in the desktop client. You can sign up here. The beta version of Seesmic Desktop 2 has also implemented the feature and you can download it here. The feature is off by default, so follow these steps to switch it on in Seesmic:
- In the Options panel (you can access the options panel by click on the gear wheel in the lower left)
- Select the Twitter Plugin, and click on “Settings” link
- Check the “Use User Streams” checkbox
- Save Settings and Restart Seesmic Desktop 2
While Seesmic just released an update to their Android app, Tweetdeck is still working on theirs. I’m not a fan of the Tweetdeck desktop client, but I’m intrigued by the prospect of using it on Android. The Tweetdeck blog paints a very pretty picture of what is to come with this new Android Twitter client:
First off, we’ve built Android TweetDeck from the ground up to be true multi-stream, laser focused on showing you all your friends’ cross-service activity in one app. Multi-column is still the order of the day but now columns are blended based on the type of activity rather than the service. And all this whilst retaining the most powerful functionality from each included service.
Even more interesting is that they seem to have switched their focus a little. Not only are they making the Android app the prototype for the iPhone and iPad apps, but also say it “won’t be long before most of the new concepts in Android TweetDeck make it to the desktop and web.” Very interesting, indeed. Can’t wait to get my hands on the beta, which should be available later this week.