How To Get Your Data From Social Networks, Blogs & News Sites With One Unified API

Richard Caudle
31st July 2014 0 Comments

If in the past you’ve tried to get data from social networks, you’ll be familiar with the pains of constantly changing APIs, moving data schemas, frequent policy changes. If you’re attempting to work with multiple networks, you’ll be hitting these challenges time and time again. You’ll have wasted weeks of development time just reacting to changes. DataSift’s API gives you a consistent, supported, flexible platform that allows you to confidently & quickly deliver social solutions.

Before joining DataSift I worked as a technical architect for a global agency. As an architect it was not my role to dream up the cleverest solution, instead I became obsessed with:

  • Flexibility: change is unavoidable
  • Delivery: a solution must be practical and deliverable
  • Compliance & security: data is valuable and sensitive
  • Maintenance: a solution can live for years, it must be cost-effective to maintain

I actually discovered DataSift exactly because I was looking to build a solution which required data from a range of social networks. I became frustrated tackling each network’s API in turn, each with their own data format, each making breaking changes without notice. There had to be a better way to build my solution. DataSift provided the answer then, and has evolved since to make elegant solutions easy to deliver.

One API – For All Your Social Data

Building against a number of social networks individually is painful. You’ll spend time wrestling with each network, rather than building features for users.

DataSift’s unified API solves these challenges:

  • One API: Each social network has a different way of accessing data, making queries and returning data. Use DataSift’s single API and write code once. Maintain one integration for all of your social data.
  • One Data Schema: Each network returns data in it’s own proprietary schema. DataSift’s API delivers one consistent schema across all sources. Map this schema just once to your application.
  • Account Credentials & Limits: For each network you’ll have an account each with a set of credentials and confusing usage limits. DataSift gives you one account, with a clear set of limits which you can understand and work to.
  • Future Proof: What happens if you need to add a new network to your solution? With DataSift you simply enable the source in your dashboard, without writing new code. You’ll have the new source online in minutes.

Consistent Querying & Processing Across Sources

When working with social networks, they each have their own way to access and query data. Again you’re wasting valuable time for your developers and analysts.

By using the DataSift platform, you can work with all sources consistently:

  • One Query Language: Whichever sources you choose, DataSift gives you one query language (CSDL) that works consistently regardless of where the data comes from. Write one filter to access data from Twitter, Facebook and LexisNexis for instance.
  • Live & Historic Access: Whether you need to work with live streaming data, or dig into conversations from the past, or both, the DataSift platform allows you to do both in a consistent fashion.
  • Augmentation Across Sources: Regardless of where posts are made, the DataSift platform augments the data with extra value, such as sentiment, gender, topics and so on. Understand the context of conversation consistently across networks.

A Robust Enterprise-Grade Solution

Social networks are often not setup to work with customers who require enterprise-grade support and integrations. Working directly with networks exposes you to breaking changes, vague or absent SLAs and frequent changes in policies.

Working with DataSift you benefit from:

  • Shielding From Underlying APIs: we track API changes for each network and react so you don’t have to.
  • Robust Data Delivery: We provide a range of data delivery options, all which provide guaranteed data delivery so you won’t drop a piece of data.
  • Secure Connectivity Options: We offer a range of connectivity options including private connections. If you need the highest level of security for your data we can meet these needs.
  • Enterprise Support: We offer enterprise-grade support, with the level of service you’ve come to expect from your providers.
  • Service Level Agreement: We offer a rock-solid SLA that satisfies even the most demanding customers.

Get To Grips With Compliance & Cost Control

On top of building a solution that delivers to your requirements, when working with social data you have extra considerations. For instance is your solution compliant with the raft of Ts&Cs each network insists upon? How do you keep an eye on licensing costs?

DataSift helps you through these headaches:

  • License Management: When you sign-up to a new source on the DataSift platform you will be asked to read and sign the appropriate license. We hold this agreement for you.
  • Compliance Management: It can be difficult to understand what you can and can’t do with social data. We guide you through this process and make sure you don’t trip up.
  • Cost Control: We let you set limits and notifications so you don’t get caught out by data licensing costs.

Deliver Not Just Faster, But Better

DataSift’s API and platform remove the pain of working directly with social networks. This is especially clear when working with multiple networks to gather and process data.

Working with the DataSift API you’ll not only save developer time, you’ll also arrive at a better supported, maintainable, future-proof solution. DataSift is the trusted partner for companies from social startups (who enjoy spending time on features, not data integration) to multinationals (who rely on DataSift for compliant, secure, robust data delivery).

When you build your next social solution, let us make your life a whole lot easier. You can try DataSift for free and we’ll throw in $10 for your data, SIGN UP NOW.

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