Yahoo Lets Developers Drink from the Update Firehose



Yahoo is adding a whole new layer to real time. Yesterday, they announced the Updates Firehose for developers, “a web service for accessing and searching the full, real-time index of Yahoo! Updates.” And that includes all Yahoo properties—from Flickr to Delicious to comments on news stories. All public information posted on the service goes into the Firehose.

Naturally, developers can filter the information and manipulate it using Yahoo’s own Yahoo Query Language (YQL), an SQL-like query language. Developers can use it to call common keywords used across all updates or restrict the info to updates from a specific application, location, language, URL or type (e.g., status updates, ratings, comments, and reviews).

The updates included in the Firehose make it apparent the service is appropriately named:

  • 750,000+ ratings a day (including those from Yahoo! News, Buzz, Movies, Travel, TV and more),
  • 8,000+ reviews a day (including Yahoo! Local, Shopping, Cricket, Travel and more),
  • 150,000+ comments/day (including Yahoo! News, Buzz, Sports, OMG stories and more),
  • status updates,
  • Flickr uploads,
  • Delicious bookmarking,
  • Open App activity,
  • YouTube favoriting,
  • Last.fm listening,
  • and many, many others.

And like I said before, this is just for the information marked as “public” (set to viewable by anyone).

This can be a huge opportunity for lots of things—but the first thing that springs to mind around here is what a great tool this could be for monitoring all Yahoo properties as part of reputation management.

What do you think? What kind of applications would you like to see for Yahoo’s public update data?

Photo by Julie Falk