The Inevitable: Standards and Openess By Proxy

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A few days ago we posted about Twitter switching off XMPP support to the public, but keeping it open to select partners such as Summize. Since then, a number of developers have been putting together ways to achieve the same thing but without actual official support from Twitter. One of those developers is Dustin Sallings (Twitter), who has written an XMPP proxy that uses both the Summize and Twitter API’s to create an XMPP server.

The server currently supports track, login, user status and posting messages (follow support coming soon). The XMPP user is at twitteryspy@jabber.org, which you can add using any XMPP client (such as the Gmail chat client). Type in ‘help’ to get instructions on setting up your user account and setting up track. The code is also open source, and you can find it here to see how it works.

Lesson here: If you don’t give users what they want, they will find a way around it and get it anyway. Since sending a twitter using XMPP, I have had at least a dozen people message me back within minutes asking about it. Lets hope Twitter don’t shut this service down, because since it is a proxy service the level of load on Twitter itself should not change as more users pick it up.

Update: We have also just heard that Twitter are opening up their API throttle to 100 requests per hour – so I can’t see a reason why Twitterspy would be taken down or throttled.

Update 2 – Just found another Jabber client called Mojipage – supports both Twitter and Friendfeed. Check it out here.

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