If you thought Twitter was fast already with rapid fire updates from the people you follow in your home stream and on various lists, wait until you see Twitter’s User Streams in action. It’s Twitter, caffeinated.
Twitter added real time stream updates to it’s Streaming API recently, but only a select few were able to see the updates flow by and play with that new piece of API code. Twitter has now announced they are releasing this goody to the rest of the masses, so expect to see super fast, instant updating streams coming to a Twitter client near you soon (these will be called Site Streams).
If you are a user of Seesmic Desktop 2 Twitter client, you’ve already been playing with real time stream updates. For some, it’s overwhelming. For me, when the real time web gets to be a little much, I just switch over to a non-enabled client for a while.
I’m not sure if the real time stream is altogether useful to users, per se: it’s hard for many people to absorb that much information that fast. It is certainly fascinating to see the hive mind in real time, and watch the patterns inherent in its shifts, twists turns and topics.
It is also expected to help ease the strain on the Twitter servers significantly. I for one would love to miss the Fail Whale, so I’m all for easing the server strain in whatever way possible. As always, Twitter is emcouraging its ecosystem of developers to find new and alternative ways to use the new API calls.