This article was published on July 29, 2010

New real-time Twitter API comes at you quickly, will you be able to keep up?

New real-time Twitter API comes at you quickly, will you be able to keep up?

As we’ve been reporting, today Echofon and Tweetdeck are the first third-party Twitter clients to begin supporting Twitter’s User Streams API. Just now, our Zee did two cool crowdsourced video experiments on how this looks in Echofon and Tweetdeck. Check them out first and then continue reading.

Now, first of all, Zee follows over 6,800 people on Twitter, so he’s not exactly the average Twitter user. That said, as you saw in the video, you’ll see that tweets hit his stream a mile-a-minute as they auto-refresh. Of course, following 6,800 accounts will most likely produce that for anyone – but what if you follow say 1,500, or 1,000 – what about 500? We picked up on a Twitter conversation between Tweetmeme‘s Nick Halstead and Twitterfall‘s David Somers – both of whom know a thing or three million about the Twitter API – that gets right to this:

Now, as the vast majority of Twitter users probably don’t follow more than 100 users, the speed of auto-refreshed tweets isn’t going to be an issue. However, for power users, the constant stream really might need “new paradigms [to] appear” as Somers puts it. Perhaps something similar to Twitterfall’s speed controls? Or will these “real” real-time streams as Tweetdeck’s Iain Dodsworth calls the User Streams API mean that current Twitter clients are going to have to make radical user experience changes to keep up?

Expect the answers to come at us fast and furious as clients try to be #1 in the new User Streams API Twitter world.