Judge Orders Twitter To Keep Sharing Data With PeopleBrowsr

Posted Nov 29, 2012

A judge has ordered Twitter to keep providing data to PeopleBrowsr.  PeopleBrowsr used Twitter data over the last 4 years to create products like the social media scoring platform called Kred and a cloud-based social analytics platform called Playground.  PeopleBrowsr argued that when they were cut off from Twitter’s Firehose Analytics, it would drastically harm their business.

A judge in San Francisco agreed yesterday and granted PeopleBrowsr with a temporary restraining order.  There will be a hearing date for the preliminary injunction on January 8th.

?We relied on Twitter?s promise of openness when we invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours of development time,? stated PeopleBrowsr founder and CEO Jodee Rich on the PeopleBrowsr Blog. ?Long term supply is essential as this industry matures. We made this application to ensure full unrestricted access to the Firehose for our enterprise and government clients.?

Twitter said that they had matured from a handful of their data customers including PeopleBrowsr to hundreds that exist today.  Twitter said that they preferred PeopleBrowsr gets their data from three third-parties including Topsy, DataSift, and Gnip.  PeopleBrowsr and Twitter negotiated an integrated contract with a one year term and either party could terminate the partnership at will as long as there was 30 days notice.  PeopleBrowsr argued that “Twitter contracted to provide an open ecosystem.”

Twitter has been notorious for placing a strong hold on their data from their API partners.  For example, they no longer allow Instagram and LinkedIn users to find out if any of their Twitter friends are on the service.  Twitter may also drop support for third-party image hosting companies like TwitPic.

Below is the court document of the case:

2012-1.11.28 Opposition to Application for TRO