There has been some pushback on the latest round of Twitter API deprecations, and some confusion around what is going away, what it is being replaced with, and the general state of streaming data for the Twitter API. Twitter is not doing away with all their streaming APIs, just two specific endpoints that application developers found extremely useful when it comes to delivering real time behavior in their applications:
– sitestream.twitter.com/1.1/site.json – Streams messages for a set of users.
– userstream.twitter.com/1.1/user.json – Streams messages for a single user.
The endpoints are being replaced with the new Account Activity API, which currently offers two tiers of Account Activity APIs:
– Standard (Beta) – 1 webhook, 1 client app, 35 unique subscriptions, no retries
– Enterprise – 3+ webhooks, multiple client apps, unlimited subscriptions, retries, managed support
Twitter has recently updated their deprecation date, pushing it back to give application developers 90 days to switch from the deprecated APIs, to the new Account Activity API:
Last year we announced our plan to retire Site Streams & User Streams, and replace them with the Account Activity API (currently in beta). We are delaying the scheduled June 19th deprecation date.
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) April 6, 2018
The new Account Activity API is not a streaming API, it uses webhooks to provide updates to applications. Something that will force application developers to reconfigure their approach considerably. Which is one reason why we are seeing such a pushback. The loss of functionality, increased limits, absence of real time streams, and the narrow timeline for deprecation are all leaving Twitter application developers nervous about what is next.
We are going to play with the new Account Activity API more, and see what is possible. From what it looks like, following Twitter API deprecations, the best opportunity for firing up real time streams with the Twitter APIs will be with the existing web API endpoints proxied using Streamdata.io. We are going to go through all the existing API paths, and try to recreate as much of the functionality that was present in the site and user streams APIs. Helping provide some of the same functionality, using the existing transactional APIs. Ideally, Twitter would offer a premium streaming Account Activity API, and not just rely entirely on webhooks, but we’ll save these thoughts for future posts.