Update on the Retweet API (we collapse retweets, not you & we're adding statuses/retweets)

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Marcel Molina

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Sep 18, 2009, 4:57:23 PM9/18/09
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The Retweet API launch is close at hand. You might have already seen
some retweets appearing in the new statuses/home_timeline from people
who've been testing them out. We've gotten lots of great questions and
feedback about the retweet API. Thanks to everyone who has rolled up
their sleeves and gotten involved. It's been a big help.

One of the main confusions and criticisms about the retweet API was
around what happens when a given tweet is retweeted multiple times.
The explanation was that developers need to do their own retweet
collapsing. If N people retweet a given tweet, you'd get N instances
of that same tweet in the appropriate retweet timeline and the home
timeline. You would then have to do your own internal book keeping
about whether that tweet had already come in. If it hadn't you'd
display it for the first time. If it had you'd update the already
displayed tweet.

Asking developers to collapse retweets in timelines is onerous,
complicated and confusing. We're not going to do it that way. We are
going to add a resource that gives you all retweets for a given tweet.
In timelines you will get only the first retweet. You can then request
all retweets for that tweet at any time to get up to 100 retweets that
have been created for it.

Here is the documentation for the new resource, statuses/retweets:
http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Twitter-REST-API-Method%3A-statuses-retweets

Sincere apologies if you've already written collapsing logic for
retweets. Beta releases are beta releases and I think the retweet API
is a lot better without the onerous collapsing requirement.

To give you some ideas of how you can use the API to display retweets,
here is a recent mock up of one of the potential UIs for the retweets
timeline on twitter.com:
http://a1.twimg.com/example-retweet-ui-18-sep-09.png

If you've got questions, find bugs, or have any kind of feedback, get
in touch via the dev mailing list, send an @reply to @twitterapi or
jump into the #twitterapi IRC channel on irc.freenode.net.

--
Marcel Molina
Twitter Platform Team
http://twitter.com/noradio

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