I was invited by TweetDeck to test out their latest “User Stream Preview” version. This beta application uses Twitter’s latest User Stream API, which isn’t generally available yet for everyone.
What can I say… everything about it is just AWESOME! Talk about REAL real-time!
Here is how TweetDeck explains the new “User Stream” API:
Twitter recently announced a “developer preview” of their User Streams API. This preview version of their API is not generally available yet, but is currently being tested by some of the biggest users of the Twitter API, including TweetDeck of course. The User Streams API works differently to the original, poll-based API in that apps no longer have to check for updates on a regular interval. Instead, an app will open what is, in theory (but almost certainly not literally), a big pipe from Twitter to the app. Then, when a friend of yours hits Send on his latest tweet, that tweet gets pushed straight down the big pipe and lands in your Twitter client instantly.
That’s real “Real Time”.
And its not only tweets that get the supercharged treatment. Other actions that are relevant to you are also brought immediately to your attention. For example, if someone follows you – WOOSH, it’s there. If someone favorites one of your tweets – BAM, straight into your Mentions. Oh and discovering new people to follow is made a lot easier with the addition of an option to see @replies from your friends to other people that you don’t follow. This is a big change from the standard behavior where you only see replies to people that you actually follow.
There are other apps testing out this new API such as Seesmic which has opened their User Stream preview app for everyone… but personally, TweetDeck’s interface and usability is way way better. Check out Seesmic’s own version here.