Tweets “From API” – What Some Twitter Users Say

July 22nd, 2009 |

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OK, let’s clear something up…if you see a tweet on Twitter and the source is listed as “From API”, there is no need to disown that Twitter user as a “bot”, “spammer”, or anything else negative.  While some users might very well be those terms, it is unfair to label all users who have tweets “From API” as fake users.

From the looks of most users concerned with what “From API” really means, nearly all jump the gun and assume the worst…that it is a “bot” account.  Do these users even know what an API is?  From what it looks like, they do not.  For starters, everyone should check out Twitter’s offical page regarding API use and what it is.  This can be found here.

So Why The Hate for “From API” Tweets?

Twitter recently implemented a change where programs who do not list a source parameter in the tweets will be defaulted to post “from API” instead on what it used to be “from Web”.  So what is now happening is programs who do not list a source and are not registered as an application with Twitter will now display the source in tweets as “from API” instead of “from Web”.

Chances are these users are not doing anything different to their Twitter accounts when in fact the websites or applications they are using are not yet registered with Twitter as an application.  Does that mean these Twitter users should be automatically called out as a bot? A spammer? Even a virus as seen in the screenshot below?

fromapi3Just because a tweet is listed “from API” does not automatically mean it is a bot, virus, or spammer.  While there are definitely bots, viruses, etc. out there, it does not mean that all “from API” tweets are.  Common sense must prevail and you need to look at the actual tweet to decide the legitamacy of it before making uniformed claims about “from API” tweets.

Here is some bad news for all the “From API” haters…if you use any third party application or site to post on Twitter, you are in fact using “From API” tools.  However, these tools have registered themselves with Twitter and can therefore be identified when a Tweet is posted from their application such as “From Tweetdeck” and not “From API” like an unregistered application will.  So unless you are posting directly from the Twitter.com interface, you are using an API application.

Does The Twitter Source Really Matter?

Whether a tweet is posted “From API”, “From Tweetdeck”, “From Web”, or “From Seesmic”; does the source of the tweet really matter?  To some it may, but in the end, it is just like anything else…as long as the user is providing important, relevant, or retweetable information to their followers then that is what the focus should be on.  Not whether or not their posting source states “From API”.

“From API” Solution – Registering a Twitter Application

If you are using a third party application or site to help with your tweeting experience and when you currently use the application it is posting “From API”, talk to the developer or programmer about registering the application with Twitter at this link.

By registering your application or site with Twitter, you will help establish your application as not only a legitimate tool, but also help brand it as recognizable and useful for other Twitter users to try out on their own.

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  • liloo

    I am very confused with this api business. I usually don't care where the tweet is coming from but since last night |'ve been wondering about API. I am doing this giveaway on twitter and thought to be clever and add a tag in there to be able to track the entries better. I received lots of entries, but the very few ones coming from api (this concerns 2 users in particular) are a bit weird. I've seen them in my mentions column on tweetdeck and on my replies on web twitter, but although they do include the tag, they don't seem to be tracked by web twitter / hootsuite or tweetdeck and they don't show up in the tag search. does anybody know what's happening?

  • http://www.virtualsocialmedia.com/social-media-marketing-optimization-services/social-media-pricing/ Social Media Cost | Rate

    API eats up lots of online resources.

  • http://www.virtualsocialmedia.com/social-media-marketing-optimization-services/social-media-pricing/ Social Media Cost | Rate

    API eats up lots of online resources.