Social analytics firm PeopleBrowsr wins temporary order against Twitter

PeopleBrowsr claims Twitter's decision to provide only limited data instead of a full Firehose will hurt its business

Social media analytics service PeopleBrowsr said it has won a temporary restraining order in a California court against Twitter's decision to end its four-year old arrangement to supply data to the company.

PeopleBrowsr said late Wednesday in a blog post that the Superior Court of San Francisco had issued a temporary restraining order compelling Twitter to provide full access to Twitter's "Firehose" of Twitter messages.

In a declaration, a copy of which was linked to by PeopleBrowsr, the company's founder and CEO, John David Rich, stated that Twitter intended to terminate PeopleBrowsr's access to the Firehose on Nov. 30, which would lead to it having only access to a fraction of the data. Rich said that this would harm his company as it relies on the data to provide analytics "based on a comprehensive picture of Twitter activity."

Facebook data recently provided to PeopleBrowsr by analytics company Swaylo could only supplement but not replace Twitter data which is "a unique and essential input for PeopleBrowsr's business," Rich said.

PeopleBrowsr has built its business and invested over US$5 million and 30,000 hours developing products that rely on the full Firehose, because Twitter had repeatedly and consistently promised that it would maintain an open ecosystem for its data, and "would not use its control over data to pick which companies can succeed and by removing access create losers," according to the complaint.

Starting from July 2008 when PeopleBrowsr had access to the Firehose at not cost, the company was by July 2010 paying Twitter 25 percent of its gross revenue for access to the Firehose, according to the complaint. PeopleBrowsr said it now paid Twitter about US$1 million a year for access to the Firehose, and had entered into contracts with a number of customers who needed full access to the data.

A Twitter executive is said to have advised PeopleBrowsr to transition from the Firehose and seek access to a portion of the Firehose data through Twitter's resale partners Gnip or DataSift.

Twitter has, however, said in its opposition to the TRO that it has decided to create a structure wherein three contractors serve as intermediaries, reselling Twitter data in various forms to customers, according to reports.

Twitter was not immediately available for comment.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesPeopleBrowsrCivil lawsuitslegaltwitterinternetInternet service providers

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?