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Since Twitter will no longer be selling its firehose data (full, unfiltered stream of tweets available from the service) to third party sellers, but will license the data to users of its API, it is important to be a licensee/subscriber to Twitter’s API set in order to access the huge amounts of real time-data that Twitter has to offer as a social media giant. The author writes that Twitter is determined to generate more revenue by turning its data stream into a licensable resource for real time sentiment analysis, and if they do so they will become an API King in the economy as a source of real world data. However, the remainder of the article notes the negative impact of this decision. Ben Kepes of Forbes describes the plan as an “evil move, by a company with a long history of making moves that are counter to the best interests of its ecosystem.” Steven Willmott of 3Scale also described the idea as “innovation destroying”.

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Take away:

  • Successful businesses that rely on access to an API need to carefully consider whether they should attempt to negotiate changes to the terms of the API license, with the objective of ensuring continued access to the API for their business.


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