User Streams is now in a limited testing period for desktop clients. We are working closely with developers to preview their implementations to a restricted set of testers. We are gathering feedback and usage statistics to prepare for an open beta period, tentatively scheduled for late Q3 or Q4 of 2010.
The Twitter Streaming API allows a desktop client to efficiently and instantly receive nearly all updates required to keep a display up-to-date. The transition to User Streams should return considerable capacity to the REST and Search APIs, increasing stability for Twitter users & developers alike. Additionally, several interesting new event types are available: Favoriting, retweeting, following, and list additions are also streamed along with direct messages, mentions, the user timeline and the home timeline.
All desktop client developers are encouraged to consider the Streaming API for their application and should contact us immediately at a...@twitter.com
. Other developers may continue to experiment with User Streams, but may not openly release products against this API without prior coordination. Note that all aspects of this API are still subject to refinement, including data types delivered, delivery rates, access policies, and endpoints.
The current phase of the limited testing period includes the TweetDeck and Echofon desktop applications. During this initial period, beta/preview versions will not be made available to all users of these apps. More desktop applications will follow with their own testing period shortly.
Application developers needing to consume multiple, simultaneous user streams will be served by an upcoming Streaming API product called Site Streams. Stay tuned for more information on that when we're ready.
Developer Advocate, Twitter