Sometimes we’re asked why it makes sense to access social data from Gnip and not through direct access to the publicly accessible APIs. (We usually get this question from people who have never tried to access data from various social media APIs; those who have tried it understand how tedious and time-intensive data collection is and they can’t wait to hand their social data collection over to Gnip to manage for them.)
So, if you’ve never tried collecting data from multiple social media APIs at once… why would you use Gnip instead of connecting directly to the publicly accessible APIs? Here are 10 of the reasons…
#10 – Customer Support
When you use most public APIs, development teams are often busy, so they’re tough (if not impossible) for most developers to reach with questions. At Gnip, we actually want to talk to you. We offer enterprise-level support so clients can contact us at all odd hours and receive a thoughtful, thorough response. And we work closely with a variety of sources, so we can reach out to them directly if necessary.
#9 – Reliability
#8 – Rate limit recommendations
Instead of having to figure out rate limits for the various sources on your own, Gnip can recommend rate limits based on our own extensive experience with the various APIs.
#7 – Delivery in your protocol of choice: never poll for data again
A lot of developers think polling for data is tedious… and unfortunately, most APIs are polling-based. So if you go to the sources directly, you have to poll their servers for the data. By using Gnip, you can choose between polling for your data or to having your data streamed to you.
#6 – New feed setup in seconds
Without Gnip, it can take many hours (or days) of a developer’s time to set up a new API connection, parse the new feed, and start bringing data into your system. With Gnip, it can take as little as 30 seconds and no dev effort at all to start consuming the data.
#5 – Gnip is the only source for some data
Gnip can offer access to some data that’s not available from any other source (eg. Premium Twitter volume-based feeds like our Decahose and Halfhose).
#4 – Established premium data partnerships
Established partnerships with premium data publishers (Twitter, BackType, WordPress, etc.) make it quick and easy for Gnip customers to test and add premium data feeds.
#3 – Established relationships with all publishers
Because we manage data collection for customers all day every day, we’re among the earliest to know when API changes happen and the fastest to make any necessary changes to keep your data flowing.
#2 – APIs are generally hard to manage
Publishers change their APIs sometimes. Some APIs change frequently and without warning or documentation (cough, Facebook, cough) while others change less frequently. But no matter what, change is inevitable. Gnip manages your social media data delivery over time so you can keep your data flowing smoothly and reliably with minimal effort.
#1 – Enrichments
A variety of enrichments, or added metadata and features, come included with feeds delivered through Gnip data collectors. Some of the most popular enrichments include format normalization across sources (so you only have to write one parser for all your social media data), Klout Score inclusion (currently available for premium Twitter feeds), and language detection and filtering via a proprietary Gnip algorithm. We add enrichments all the time, so look for lots more to come.
We think Gnip is pretty cool (yes, we’re biased)… but even we know that Gnip isn’t for everyone. If you only need 1 feed from 1 source, the data you need is available through a publicly accessible API, you have an engineer who can monitor and optimize your data consumption regularly, and you’re certain that you will never need any other feeds forever and ever, then Gnip probably isn’t the right choice for you.
But if you’d like to ensure you’re receiving top-quality premium data access without requiring your engineering team to invest lots of time in data collection, we’d like to invite you to give Gnip a try. We’ve got lots of happy customers already and we just might prove valuable to you, too.