Twitter User Streams Now Flowing For All; Site Streams Expand A Bit

Twitter has just announced on the Twitter Development Talk Google Group that their User Streams feature of the Twitter Streaming API is now in regular product. This means that any third-party client can now access it — and all its realtime goodness. While it’s specifically meant for desktop clients, Twitter notes that “experimentation in other use cases is encouraged.”

Twitter had been beta testing User Streams since July. The hope is that this new API will ease the overall strain on Twitter’s APIs. Twitter Head of Platform, Ryan Sarver, called this a “big milestone”.

On top of the opening of the User Streams, Twitter is announcing that another Streaming API feature, Site Streams (basically, User Streams but for third-party website clients), now supports the “with” parameter so third-parties can better control how tweets are delivered.  That parameter can be set to “users” or “followings”.

Here’s how Twitter explains this:

When set to “users”, only messages targeted directly at a user will be delivered:

* Statuses created by the user
* @mentions and Direct Messages sent to the user
* Retweets and favorites of the user’s statuses
* New followings by the user
* New followers of the user
* User’s profile updates

When set to “followings”, the stream will also include:

* Statuses and retweets created by any of the user’s followings
* @mentions from any of the user’s followings, subject to the setting of the “replies” parameter

One important note with today’s upgrade:

Access to User Streams on is now unsupported, and the beta test endpoints will be disabled in a few days.