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Apps Technology

Twitter and Third-Party Clients

When Twitter launched about 12 years ago, it started off as an SMS-based service. Soon after its launch it became a website and it took off at becoming used by many members at South by Southwest (SXSW). The early users of Twitter helped define some of the many conventions that have become a mainstay of many social networks. A couple of examples of the items that have become standard are the @ symbol to indicate that you want to reply as well as the # for use as a hashtag to help identify a post for easier tracking.

Another area where these long-term users have helped Twitter is through the creation of third-party Twitter clients. Initially Twitter was just a website and provided an API for developers to connect to. These third party Twitter clients have allowed for different experiences and this is where many of the features that are used everyday are developed. One particular third-party client, Tweetie, was purchased by Twitter and became the official Twitter app.

Starting today, August 16th, 2018, many third-party clients will no longer be able to work as they had before. This is due to Twitter retiring a set of APIs that developers used to provide these features. A couple of the features that will no longer be available to third-party apps include real-time streaming, statistics, and instant direct messages.

For most users, this may not be noticeable, but for there are times that these features, like real-time streaming, come in handy. For many users, the biggest reason for continuing to use a third-party Twitter application is the reverse chronological timeline, which the official Twitter app and website no longer offer. Along with this, third-parties offer apps for the Mac, which Twitter also no longer offers.

What this will result in is that your timeline will only refresh every minute or two. Direct messages will also be delayed. For real-time events, which are often what Twitter is known for. All of these changes are designed to have people use the official Twitter client, which is makes sense given that there are ads in the official Twitter client, but not in third parties. However, these changes, along with others issues surrounding Twitter, has left many individuals questioning whether to continue to use the service or not.

Personally, for me, I am not sure what the end result will be. It is hard to abandon the service all together. This is not only because it is the social media service that I use the most, but also because it is where my biggest following is, ergo it is where I have the biggest reach for things like these posts as well as advertising my apps and books. At the same time, it is not hard to think that some of these moves will ultimately going to end up pushing away the group of users who helped Twitter get to where they are today. I get that the “super users” make up less than one percent of Twitter’s overall base, but without them, Twitter would likely not be where it is today.

Categories
Me twitter

How I use Twitter

I finished listening to Episode 3 of Analog(ue) on Myke Hurley’s Relay.fm. The topic was “Identity” and during the episode Casey and Myke were discussing Twitter and how some Twitter users all about the numbers. Hence, how some users define themselves by those they follow, or follow them, on Twitter. To some extent, I do this. While I do care about the number of people that follow me, because on some level we all do, it’s not how I use Twitter. I have been using Twitter for 2775 days, or just over 7 1/2 years. During that time, the way I use Twitter has changed.

I originally used it as a way to indicate what I was doing throughout the day. If you look back at my first posts on Twitter, you would see this. A little over 2 1/2 years after joining Twitter, October of 2009, I started doing my “Daily Run Down” blog posts where I would summarize the news of the day in a list of links. I did this to garner more attention and share more on Twitter. I ceased the publication of my “Daily Run Down” articles on July 4th, 2013. Subsequently, the way I use Twitter has shifted again. Now I use it as a way to actually communicate and connect with people, not just as a broadcast medium.

I have never been a 100% completionist when it comes to Twitter. In the beginning of Twitter, I was more so than I am now. I follow too many people (1,551 as of this writing). I usually consider Twitter to be like a party. I don’t usually know what happens before I arrived, and while I may hear about it during my current session on Twitter, I wasn’t there at the time. Likewise, I don’t know what happens after I leave. There are times that I will scroll back a bit to see what was said, and if the conversation is interesting enough I will try to trace it back to its start and read the entire thread.

When Twitter introduced lists back in September of 2009, I immediately began grouping those that I follow, and sometimes those that I do not. Some of the lists are just categorizations, like “Chicago”, “Apps”, “Bloggers” and more. Yet, there is one private list that where I am a completionist. It is a list called “Friends”. This list is purely for those who I would, and in most cases do, consider friends. These are the individuals where I actually do care what happens and these are the individuals I interact with most often. If you’re on this list then I will very likely read everything you post. Yet, you will never know if you are on this list, because it’s a private list.

I don’t have many “meat space”, or “real life”, friends. I only have a few. I make up for my lack of “real” friends by using Twitter. As mentioned before, I do consider many, if not all, of those on my “Friends” list, to be actual friends. You could say considering those I have never met to be friends, as an aspect to the introverted part of myself and to some extent this would be accurate. In general, I am not one who like parties (I don’t mind family parties most of the time). I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. Yet, strangely, I have no issues giving talks on things, provided it is a topic that I am well versed in. I tend to prefer staying out of the spotlight and at the edges of gatherings.

Twitter is where I go to find news, do quick rants, and overall converse with people. Twitter fulfills that physical interaction, which was mentioned in Episode 3 of Analog(ue), that a vast majority of humans need to survive. While I do not use Twitter like most others, It does serve a purpose for me. The question becomes, how do you use Twitter? Do you only follow celebrities? Do you only use it to socialize with your closest “meat space” friends? However you decide to use Twitter, as long as it works for you, ignore others if they say “you’re doing it wrong”. Because what’s right for them, is not always right for everybody else.

Categories
Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 06/30/2013: Morning Edition

Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

Social Issues/Human Interest

General News

Politics

Obits

Science/Space

Financial

Gaming

Gadgets

Technology

Social Networking

Software/Apps

London/Britain/UK

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 23

Look for more news stories this evening.

Categories
Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 06/26/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

Big News

General News

International

Politics

Olympics

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Technology

Internet

Rumors

Software/Apps

Security

Developer

London/Britain/UK

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 56

Look for more stories tomorrow.

Categories
Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 06/25/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

Social Issues/Human Interest

General News

International

Politics

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Tips and Tricks

Gadgets

Law

Technology

Mobile

Software/Apps

Developer

London/Britain/UK

Personal

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 49

Look for more stories tomorrow.