I've recently been doing some research on how FriendFeed manages to
push user's twitter updates to users FriendFeed profile so fast. I was
very impressed at the speed these updates were delivered to FriendFeed
and appears on my profile (within 5 seconds) so I started looking into
how it works.
I've learnt quite a lot about SUP by Googling it: Lots of relevant
links here http://blog.friendfeed.com/2008/12/simple-update-protocol-update.html
tl;dr FriendFeed faced problems updating their profiles because they
were issuing millions of API calls to keep everyones profiles up to
date. They came up with a proposal for SUP - a new kind of API that
services provide that only lists accounts that have been updated
recently. This saves FriendFeed requesting ALL users so frequently -
they now only need to request the API for accounts that have new
According to that blog post various services have already setup SUP
feeds to help FriendFeed update things in close-to-real-time.
My question is: Does Twitter have a SUP feed that can publicly be
used? We are starting development on a site with similar real-time
functionality to FriendFeed and currently face the same problem
FriendFeed had (before they devised the SUP proposal and
If Twitter does not provide a public SUP feed? can someone please try
to explain how FriendFeed push user's twitter updates within seconds??
My only guess is that they may be constantly connected to the
streaming API's firehose method and monitoring updates from twitter
accounts that are also associated with FriendFeed profiles.
Hoping someone can shed some light on this for me.