Twitter has just announced that it’s opening the Site Streams feature of its API up to developers. This is big news, as it allows mobile push services and web apps like Brizzly and Seesmic Web to immediately display new tweets, mentions and other data as soon as they come in, rather than having to deal with Twitter’s REST API rate limits. As MG put it, these streams are crack for real-time web junkies.
According to the Site Streams dev site, developers won’t be able to fully abandon the REST API yet, as Site Streams will be prone to disruption as Twitter works out the kinks. The feature will also only be limited to “a total of 100,000 simultaneous users during the beta period unless prior arrangements are made”, though it’s hard to think of any sites that large who don’t already have a relationship with Twitter.
Developers will have to apply for access to the beta, which can be found at the bottom of the developer site. And if you’re itching to try real-time streams for yourself, a handful of desktop clients including Seesmic, Echofon, and TweetDeck support them already.