Tools

New APIs to power the future of customer engagement in Direct Messages

By Ian Cairns
Thursday, 6 April 2017

Today we are opening up access to several new Direct Message APIs so that developers can build better personalized customer experiences at scale. These APIs are designed to help businesses use the entire Twitter platform, from public Tweets to private Direct Messages, to deliver faster, richer, and more engaging human- and bot-powered customer service, marketing, and engagement experiences.

These APIs enable innovative interactions in Direct Messages, like what @United has created for exploring travel.

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We are constantly working to create industry-leading experiences for our customers. Twitter is a place where our customers engage with us 24/7 about a variety of aspects of travel. The new features that Twitter released have enabled us to create real-time engagements with customers to offer an array of services, from discovering where to go on their next trip, to answering common travel questions faster and easier. We’re excited to use these features to deliver additional experiences that connect people and unite the world through travel.

KC Geen

Director of Digital Marketing and Customer Acquisition at United Airlines

What we’re releasing today

To help developers build richer engagement experiences, we’re releasing a new API and several new endpoints. Today’s release includes:

  • The new beta Account Activity API for subscribing to realtime activities related to an account. With today’s release, Direct Messages can now be delivered via webhooks and include support for new features like quick replies.
  • A new DM POST endpoint for sending Direct Messages. This endpoint uses a new JSON format that supports features like quick replies and shared media.
  • Updated DM GET endpoints for retrieving data asynchronously via the REST API, with the same new payload elements as the webhooks service. We are releasing a “show” endpoint, as well as a new “list” endpoint that combines sent and received messages into one response.
  • New welcome message endpoints to create and manage welcome messages in Direct Messages.

In addition to these services, we are also publishing information for two features that are still in private beta so developers can see what exists and can let us know if they’re interested in using these features.

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Conversable has helped some of the largest brands create bot experiences for their customers and we are thrilled to be able to deliver those experiences on Twitter’s platform. These new APIs make it possible for us to bring brands and consumers closer together through intelligent, automated conversation on Twitter’s leading platform for customer engagement.

Ben Lamm

CEO/Co-Founder, Conversable

As part of today’s release, we’ve also published an update to our Automation Rules to give clear guidance on how bots may engage with people on Twitter. We encourage you to read them before you get started building.

These new APIs and endpoints are part of our ongoing investment in the Twitter API. Be sure to check out our post about the future of the API platform where you can learn more about where we’re focusing our energy, and see a roadmap with the updates we have planned.

Where we’re going from here

In the coming months, we plan on releasing several major updates to the Account Activity API so it can be used as the primary source of account updates for customer engagement applications. These include:

  • Expanding the scope of activities delivered via the Account Activity API to include the following for an authorized account: Replies, mentions, Retweets, Likes, Follows and more
  • Enterprise features designed to enable large-scale access and ensure you never miss an activity

As we release these updates, we will start to retire related legacy services. The Account Activity API will eventually replace User streams and Site streams, and the new Direct Message REST endpoints will eventually replace the existing endpoints used to send and retrieve messages.
We plan to provide at least a six month migration window after these new services graduate from beta. We’ll announce the deprecation date then and encourage you to start using these new beta services in the meantime.

To see a deep dive into the details of using these services and the key benefits compared to the legacy services, check out our forum post.

Getting started

You can access the new beta REST endpoints in the same way you access the existing REST API v1.1 endpoints. Once you have created an app through apps.twitter.com, you can start using those services.

For the Account Activity API we’re onboarding new developers in waves to ensure a smooth experience. To get access, please complete this application to help us understand what you’re building. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can, but bear with us as we expect to have a lot of developers applying for access.

Thanks for building on our API platform. We’re thrilled to be making these APIs and endpoints more broadly available today and can’t wait to see the new experiences that you create.

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@cairns

Ian Cairns

@cairns

Group Product Manager