A Hub for Twitter

A Hub for Twitter

If you claim to be some kind of social app but don’t use PubSubHubbub, I think you’re missing out the opportunity to support a de-facto standard for service to service communication.

On the other hand, if you’re a realtime feed standard that is not used by Twitter, you’re also missing something.

Based on these simple facts, I think Twitter needs to have a PubSubHubbub hub. They recently announced that more and more apps are getting their firehose, this is great and shows us that they want their data out (hey, Facebook, did you hear that?). However, a few conversations with both John and Ryan showed me that they weren’t so keen of doing so. Sad.

To prove them wrong, we started a little poll 2 days ago. The goal was to show Twitter that people would use this hub, and that, with it, the consumption of Twitter data will eventually grow over time.

Here are the results (obviously, it’s never too late to answer) :

Would you use a Twitter PubSubHubbub hub if it was available?
Yes 45 96%
No 2 4%

I think this is the most important question here :) One could argue that the people who responded are also more tempted to say they would use it, than not. A legit question that somebody raised is that it would probably not work behind the firewall. I agree with that, but I also think that most apps who are behind firewalls use the regular REST API.

Do you currently use the Twitter Streaming API?
Yes 21 45%
No 26 55%

This is interesting to compare with the previous question. Almost everybody said they would use a PubSubHubbub hub, but less than half currently use the streaming API. This means that the streaming API is not fulfilling their needs, while a hub would.

Do you think a hub would increase your Twitter data consumption?
Yes 45 96%
No 2 4%

Again, that, I think, proves that a hub would be better suited for the data consumption for many applications. Also, I think that Twitter genuinely wants the data to “get out”. This proves that this goal would be achieved.

Have you already implemented PubSubHubbub?
Yes 30 64%
No 17 36%

A key concern when implementing an API is the speed of adoption. The streaming API has been out for a few months, but is still not so widely used, if Twitter had a hub, a lot of people would be able to start using it from day 1, because they already implemented the protocol on their ends.

I will send the detail results to both John and Ryan, as well as the list of people who responded (in a BCC email), so anybody can start the conversation from there.

Twitter will make the decision on whether they want to support that or not. It’s obvious that if they do, I’d rather see that happen via a Superfeedr hub. However, I think it’s still great for PubSubHubbub and the internets in general if Twitter decides to go down this route, but without us.

Like always, I’m here to help anyway.

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Previously, on the Superfeedr blog: Do You Prefer Buffet or Sit-Down?.