Remember when “Likes” were called “favorites,” Moments and Twitter Polls didn’t exist, and you could only publish single images? Well, Twitter has changed. A lot. Since the current version of the API, v1.1, launched in 2012, Twitter has a lot of new features, and the ways developers use the API have changed like the use case of tracking the spread of flu.
As we announced on May 14, through our new Twitter Developer Labs program, we are inviting the developer community to test out new ideas and share their feedback to help shape the next generation of our API.
On June 4, Twitter hosted the #TapIntoTwitter event to present Twitter Developer Labs to the New York City developer community. The room was buzzing with 200 developers in attendance, from students and researchers to representatives from Twitter Official Partners, Sprinklr and Brandwatch.
A captivated audience listened as speakers from our Developer Relations and Product teams took the stage to explain why Labs was launched.
“If you’ve been a developer yourself or you are a developer, you know that technologies evolve and the ideas around APIs evolve,” said Twitter Developer Advocate Andy Piper, who emceed the event. “It’s time for Twitter’s APIs to evolve as well.”
Andy interviewed Ian Cairns, Director of Product for Twitter’s Developer Platform, about some of the new API features developers can expect. Ian explained the goal is to create an API that better reflects how Twitter is used today.
He said the Labs idea is rooted in the same collaborative spirit that the first Twitter API launched with back in 2006.
“There are more smart people outside of this building than inside of it… and that’s what the API’s about. If we’re running our API well, we’re inviting you all to help build and improve and make Twitter better, and do interesting things with Twitter that we’re not doing ourselves,” Ian said.
Developers will already notice cleaner responses and formats that better reflect current terminology, like changing the name “statuses” to “Tweets.” This next step will gather feedback from the larger developer community about additional features and functionalities that will help them with their goals in the future. Product efforts are focused first on making it easier to work with our conversational data..
“We have this really unique public data set that lets developers understand what the world is thinking about and talking about at any given time,” Ian said, adding he hopes to engage more groups like academics and students, to better understand how they’re working with Twitter data.
Some of the first items on the roadmap for Labs is a new filtered streaming service, an updated version of search, and new ways of analyzing engagement data around Tweets.
Twitter Developer Advocate Jessica Garson and Senior Partner Engineer Daniele Bernardi walked the crowd through some new API and Labs features, as well as more thorough, easy-to-understand documentation showing how to get started and how to give feedback throughout the process.
A spirited Q&A session with Andy and Ian capped off the #TapIntoTwitter New York session. Conversation continued with the community and the Twitter team over refreshments.