We are continuing our work to understand the impact the upcoming streaming API deprecated event will have on applications and investing in some alternative solutions that developers might want to consider. Twitter will be deprecating sitestream.twitter.com/1.1/site.json, and userstream.twitter.com/1.1/user.json this summer, and application developers are scrambling to replicate the functionality they currently have. The new Account Activity API is switching from a streaming connection to a more webhooks-driven approach to subscribing to changes, which is widely being seen as a step backward when it comes to delivering a large volume of changing events to consumers.
As we work to profile how similar functionality can be achieved by proxying existing Twitter APIs with Streamdata.io, we are mapping out exactly what is being deprecated, and building a comparable map of replacement functionality using the existing Twitter web APIs using Streamdata.io. Here is the list of event types being deprecated across the site and user streams:
– User deletes a Tweet
– Followed user deletes a Tweet
– User unfavorites a Tweet
– User’s Tweet is unfavorited
– User unfollows someone
– User creates a list
– User deletes a list
– User edits a list
– User adds someone to a list
– User is added to a list
– User removes someone from a list
– User is removed from a list
– User subscribes to a list
– User’s list is subscribed to
– User unsubscribes from a list
– User’s list is unsubscribed from
– User updates their profile
– User updates their protected status
Some of these Twitter list based events are pretty easy to recreate, but depending on the scope of a Twitter users account, and the volume of activity around their account, the user, and tweet base certain one’s might be more involved. We think that a complete event type mapping of Twitter’s API is in order. This is clearly just a subset of the meaningful events that are occurring via the platform. Using the OpenAPI definition we have for the platform, we are going to craft a complete picture of the event types that are happening, and see if we can’t then proxy and stream all of the events occurring, not just the deprecated events shown here.
We are unsure of what Twitter’s overall plans for streaming might be, but their recent shift from site and user streams to the webhooks centered approach behind the new Account Activity API doesn’t paint a positive picture. Webhooks are a good bridge towards a more real-time, event-driven world of integration with a platform, but sadly webhooks won’t scale as well as streaming using Server-Sent Events (SSE), and other approaches. Webhooks should augment Twitter’s web and streaming APIs, not work to replace them. We’ll keep working on mapping out the event-driven architectural landscape of Twitter and see what we can provide as a sensible replacement for the APIs that they are planning on deprecating this summer.