With less than a week's notice TweetMeme is to shut completely on October 1st and the green Retweet button which was used by half a million websites has already disappeared.
If you are one of I-Programmer's Twitter followers you may be surprised to see that the Tweet count of our most popular articles have suddenly been zeroed. Well so were we - a just a bit miffed that it happened overnight and without any warning.
Nick Halsted announced that Tweetmeme was closing on September 26th in a blog post that is so obscure it has attracted no comments - even though many website owners are undoubtedly unhappy about losing the valuable Retweet facility that Tweetmeme provided and its count of the number of tweets that a link had had.
Although existing buttons have been replaced on users' websites by Twitter's own button which has similar functionality, the counts have been reset to zero, wiping out any trace of their popularity.
The Tweetmeme website, where you could instantly discover what was trending on Twitter, will disappear off the Internet on October 1st - although if you visit it today you won't see any warning to this effect.
So why is Tweetmeme pulling the plug?
Ironically part of the answer is because it has been such a success. This graph shows how the Tweetmeme button took off in its first year of operation, achieving 750 million daily retweet button impressions.
Growth contined to be exponential, the statisitics in this week's announcement are that:
the iconic (green) retweet button was installed on 500,000+ websites, with a peak serving of 1.5 billion daily retweet buttons
Now, according to Nick Halstead:
it is no longer competitive or cost effective for us to continue to keep the infrastructure going behind it.
The competition now includes Twitter's own buttons that the TweetMeme team were instrumental in creating. And this in turn is a source of conflict. As we reported recently, Twitter is imposing conditions to deter third-party developers from building or maintaining consumer-facing products and while TweetMeme could have continued for a while, why bother once you know your days are numbered?
A better reason for the decision is that the TweetMeme team now has established DataSift, a commercial, business-oriented data analytics product which is licensed by Twitter to resell the data from the Twitter Firehose. DataSift now has 10,000 paying customers, with monthly subscriptions starting at $3,000).
Datasift has two APIs (REST and Streaming) and uses its own query language, the Curated Stream Definition Language, CSDL which allows its users to build complex filters and augment data with additional feature tags. What it also demonstrates is that there is gold to be mined from social data.