Twitter status id conundrum

Posted by jamiet on SQL Blog See other posts from SQL Blog or by jamiet
Published on Sun, 18 Apr 2010 15:05:38 GMT Indexed on 2010/04/18 15:14 UTC
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I have an interest, a slightly perverse one some might say, in using online services and trying to figure out what the underlying (logical) data model is and in this day and age Twitter is one that lends itself very well to scrutiny. Consider this recent tweet of mine:

odata rdf tweet screenshot

The URL that enables you to see that tweet is http://twitter.com/jamiet/status/12154647354. We can interpret that URL to mean "a tweet by jamiet with an id of 12154647354" and hence we might further assume that the unique identifier for the tweet is {jamiet,12154647354}.

However, its well-known that Twitter gives each status a unique ID regardless of who tweeted it so we might expect we could reach that tweet just by using a URL of http://twitter.com/status/12154647354 however (at the time of writing) that only redirects to Twitter's homepage. That seems strange to me especially given that we can use Twitter's API to access information about that tweet using only the id of the status. Witness http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/show/12154647354.xml:

screenshot of twitter api result

[We can also access a JSON version of that information using http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/show/12154647354.json]

I'm puzzled as to why a tweet can't be accessed using on the main twitter website using the id alone. Anyone have any suggestions?

@jamiet


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