Microblogging site Twitter has unveiled a new real-time service for analysing news feeds.
Heron will be replacing its previous analytical tool Storm, although the service will reportedly still be compatible with the legacy system through its application program interface.
According to commentators, Heron will have several advantages over Storm, including the need for fewer hardware devices. Twitter, which has been using the software at its own offices for some time, noted that the reduction in necessary infrastructure has made the service much more efficient.
It was also reported that the new real-time tool provides a number of performance improvements over the older analytical software, which should give the companies that use it a much clearer picture of their internet marketing reach.
Meanwhile, it was noted that Heron has an inbuilt capacity to withstand spikes in social traffic. While monitoring news feed streams in real time does allow for up-to-date analysis to help social media managers to take advantage of any momentary opportunities, high levels of traffic can cause bottlenecking to occur, affecting accuracy. As such, Heron was designed with a data flow pressure mechanism, so that the clarity of its results can be maintained at all times.
In the past, a number of major companies took advantage of Storm for their analytical needs on Twitter, so it is believed that they may be just as enthusiastic for Heron. Although the new tool has not yet been released with an open-source license, a white paper written by Karthik Ramasamy, Twitter’s engineering manager, noted that sharing about Heron was only the “first step”.