Twitter has announced that it will be adding two new bits of metadata to the Twitter API soon. The company has decided to change the API in order to give third-party developers more access to ranks that Twitter labels on to tweets. This will help them work more easily with targeted subsets of Tweet collections, said the company.

One of the metadata will allow developers to identify a tweet’s language, in order to help them filter and translate the tweet. The attribute called ‘lang’ will specify the language in which the tweet was written in as identified by Twitter's machine language detection algorithms.

The values will be valid BCP 47 language identifiers, and may represent any of the languages listed on Twitter's advanced search page, or “und” if no language could be detected,” the blog put up by Arne Roomann-Kurrik read. This will allow analytics services or real-time search streams to offer language-specific curation, aggregation and analysis of tweet content.


Goodies for third-party developers

Another bit of metadata will allow users to identify ‘high value’ tweets as marked by Twitter. This will help apps more easily surface certain types of content from otherwise noisy or high-volume feeds.

Twitter’s Top Tweet algorithm works in a way that a tweet’s value is decided according to the engagement it has. The more retweets, replies and Favourites it has, the higher it is valued. Twitter’s metadata called ‘filter_level’ will be helping developers to determine tweets in the values of ‘none’, ‘low’, or ‘medium’ with a reserved ‘high’ classification for future use. The ‘medium’ and eventually ‘high’ entries will roughly correlate to the “Top Tweets” results for searches on, allowing applications to isolate specific type of content from noisy feeds. 

This API change will open up a whole world of change for Twitter. The most important services that could be affected by this change seem to be social analytics and influence ranking ones like Klout. With the knowledge of what tweet is being marked as high value by Twitter is a great tool in ranking Twitter users, thereby having more accurate data about top influencers.

This is the first time that Twitter has been so open about how it rates tweets on basis of its quality, raising questions whether the company plans to monetise access to some API features in the future. Roomann-Kurrik mentioned that the ‘higher value’ filter level was going to come soon but didn’t go into details about it making us wonder what it is that Twitter might be planning. For now, when the ‘filter_level’ metadata launches on Februry 20, it will be free to use.

Earlier this week Twitter also announced its intention of increasing the price of Promoted Trends on the site to a whopping $200,00, 150 percent higher than the $80,000 it cost three years ago. Last year, the micro-blogging site demanded a cool $150,000 for Promoted Trends – a 33 percent increase in a year, showing just what an impressive revenue generator it is.

The changes Twitter has been making haltingly seem like a pieces of a big puzzle right now in anticipation of its upcoming IPO. Twitter might be going public as soon as sometime next year. The puzzle might just look a little clearer as the IPO approaches. 

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