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Twitter Throttling Hits Third-Party Apps 119

Barence writes "Twitter's battle to keep the microblogging service from falling over is having a dire affect on third-party Twitter apps. Users of Twitter-related apps such as TweetDeck, Echofon and even Twitter's own mobile software have complained of a lack of updates, after the company imposed strict limits on the number of times third-party apps can access the service. Over the past week, Twitter has reduced the number of API calls from 350 to 175 an hour. At one point last week, that number was temporarily reduced to only 75. A warning on TweetDeck's support page states that users 'should allow TweetDeck to ensure you do not run out of calls, although with such a small API limit, your refresh rates will be very slow.'"
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Twitter Throttling Hits Third-Party Apps

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  • 175/hr is slow? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @03:55PM (#32830566)
    Isn't that an update nearly every 20 seconds? How fast do people need to see that you're currently wiping your butt?
  • Re:175/hr is slow? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_one_wesp ( 1785252 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @03:59PM (#32830636)
    If you're only following a single feed. But I have like 10 lists in TweetDeck that all get individually queried, and there are some who have WAY more than that.

    But I am inclined to comment about this bit of "news"... Big. Woop. Twitter's just trying to stay alive. If the service falls over NO UPDATES will happen... at all... Inconvenient, yes, but totally necessary.
  • Re:175/hr is slow? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:01PM (#32830668)

    A RSS reader will consume one update per person you follow on twitter. Following a moderate number of people with a 15 minute refresh will easily break the cap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:08PM (#32830758)

    It's high time that the so-called "Web 2.0" companies ditch the NoSQL bullshit they've started to put into place. It's not bringing the scalability benefits they all claimed it would, and it's leading to data with very questionable reliability otherwise (not that their data is particularly valuable in the first place...)

    A lot of these scalability problems could be solved by using a proper RDBMS on proper hardware that's designed to handle huge concurrent workloads. This level of traffic isn't new by any means. There are many POS systems around the world, from retail operations to airlines, that deal with a similar level of "traffic".

    It doesn't matter if they go with a database and hardware stack from Oracle, or a DB2 and hardware stack from IBM, or even use Sybase's ASE on hardware from HP. They just need to invest in some real hardware and some real database systems that are meant for dealing with absolutely huge loads.

    Ditch NoSQL databases. Ditch shitty servers. Start using real software, and start using real hardware. That's what other businesses do when they "grow up". If twitter is a viable business, it's time for them to grow up, too.

  • Re:Monty Python (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:20PM (#32830950)

    Company bases a business model on offering their resources for free, only to discover to their chagrin that people will take them up on it. Where oh where have I heard this one before?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:21PM (#32830986)

    You need to think in terms of API calls. If it takes an API call to get one of your follower's updates, following 100 people could push your refresh rate over an hour.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:47PM (#32831394)

    International fast food chains, national lotteries, telecommunication service providers, and others.

    Twitter should really look at how telecommunications billing is done. It's realtime, it's at a much greater volume than twitter handles, and they sure as hell don't bother with NoSQL "technologies".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:52PM (#32831522)

    What about clients who don't have a constant connection to the Internet, or who have a dynamic IP? Now twitter has to poll them, to see if they exist. You end up with the same situation, except worse.

    E-mail seems to be doing just fine, despite these "shortcomings".

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @06:06PM (#32832746) Homepage Journal

    It is all about bang for the buck. I do not think that anyone has ever said that you can not scale a SQL server to handle a Twitter like load. The question is one of cost.
    I am sure that you could handle the load with DB2 on a z Machine also but at what cost?
    I am actually a big fan of SQL and find NoSQL to extremely cumbersome.
    But then I really do not have a need to scale that big.
    I just am not yet willing to write off NoSQL yet. I know that Google has used it for some things.
    But when you are talking about Twitter a key is the cost per transaction. That must be very low. And if I have to wait 30 seconds for a twitter that is a good trade off for me.

  • by rawtatoor ( 560209 ) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:34AM (#32838864) Journal

    Twitter is a fundamentally stupid idea. It is like trying to run all of the mailing lists in the world from one server (and by 'like' I mean exactly the same) The end result is half as useful and twice as shitty. Seriously, write a web2.0 listserv interface and you will amaze tweeters. You can tweet with email holy cow!

    Yes, it's a mailing list, suprise!

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson