Wow! Yahoo announced yesterday its new Yahoo! Updates Firehose service in initial release. This thing sounds massive: “Yahoo! Updates aggregates social updates from Yahoo! and across the Web: It includes a real-time feed of every public action taken on our network … and elsewhere around the Web that users have authorized Yahoo! to make available.”
That includes over 750,000 ratings a day, 8,000 reviews a day, Flickr Uploads, Delicious bookmarks, favorited items on YouTube, etc. No kidding it’s a firehose!
The actual page for the new service is at http://developer.yahoo.com/social/updates/firehose.html, but if you just want to play with the queries you can by visiting http://developer.yahoo.com/yql/console/?q=select%20*%20from%20social.updates.search;. I had to be logged in to a Yahoo account before I could test things.
The service page provides plenty of examples for tracking all these real-time updates, including querying for words, searching for specific links, and even searching for activity by a user or a group of users (that particular example weirded me out a bit; be sure to check your privacy settings.) You can also pull out specific result fields; test results are shown in XML or JSON, and you get what a resulting REST query would look like.
In addition to the YQL Console Yahoo also has some excellent documentation for YQL, making it easy to imagine the possibilities of this huge flow of information. Not surprising at all that this is by the same company that came out with Yahoo Pipes — it might be just as addictive! I’m looking forward to exploring it more.