This useful Twitter video downloader bot is now seeing 7,500 requests a day – TechCrunch

Not all of the bots on Twitter are spammers or democracy hackers. Chances are you’ll recall seeing requests to the Thread Reader app bot to “unroll” an extended thread into readable copy, for instance, and in more moderen days you might have noticed Twitter customers tagging a more moderen bot, @this_vid, on tweets with a video file connected. The useful bot (aka DownloadThisVideo) presents a approach to obtain each movies and GIFs from Twitter’s web site for simpler offline viewing.

The thought for @this_vid comes from Shalvah Adebayo, a backend developer born and raised in Nigeria, and at present residing in Lagos. Shalvah says he bought into improvement again in 2013, throughout his closing yr of secondary college (highschool).

“There was a child in a decrease class that individuals talked about in awe — ‘he is aware of programming!,’” explains Shalvah. “I had no concept what it was then,” he continues. “I watched a command-line quiz utility he’d made, and I used to be impressed. I’d gained a laptop computer in a contest a couple of months again, so the following day, I walked into the one pc store I knew and requested them for ‘Programming movies.’ They gave me one thing on C++. I watched these at residence that day and went again the following day to purchase the precise software program (the IDE). That was how I began writing C++,” he says.

Since then, Shalvah moved from C++ to Android improvement, then internet improvement. He went to school after which give up, and started working within the tech business. At present, Shalvah works full-time as a distant software program engineer for an engineering consultancy and product design firm in South Africa known as Deimos Cloud.

He builds apps in his spare time as aspect initiatives, and has beforehand open-sourced different bots like @RemindMe_OfThis, which helps you to set reminders by tweets, and TwitterThrowback, which is like Twitter’s model of Fb’s “On This Day” function.

Nonetheless, the Twitter video downloader bot has turn out to be one in all his extra well-liked creations, and is now seeing round 7,500 person requests per day, and as many as 9,500 at peak occasions.

Shalvah explains he bought the concept as a result of it was a private ache level. Web entry the place he lives will be spotty, and the Twitter app’s video expertise was not superb. He mentioned he most popular to obtain the movies to observe them offline, however couldn’t discover any straightforward method to take action.

“I knew of a few websites and apps that did that, however I don’t like putting in apps, and I didn’t just like the friction concerned in utilizing a web site,” the developer says. “Plus, I wished an asynchronous course of, the place you can simply say ‘hey, I wish to obtain this’ and proceed searching Twitter and are available again later to select up your obtain.”

Plus, Shalvah says he noticed plenty of different Twitter customers asking how they’ll get the video posted in practically each well-liked thread the place somebody had tweeted a video.

The bot, @this_vid, has been up and working since Could 2018. After sending it out first to his personal followers, Shalvah then started to level folks to it every time he noticed them asking on a thread the best way to get a selected video that was shared. This led to its growing recognition round Twitter.

“I feel it actually solved an issue for lots of people, and that was what made it so well-liked. So there have been fairly lots of people, each pals and strangers, that tweeted about it to their followers, and it simply form of grew organically,” he says.

There are some movies that @this_vid can’t obtain, as a result of the poster — usually a sports activities group (e.g. The NFL ) — has restricted it from downloads. However typically, all you could do is point out @this_vid in a reply to the unique tweet, and also you’ll obtain a hyperlink with the video obtain in a couple of minutes.

The bot works by querying the Twitter API for the tweet information, after which retrieves the media URL together with a couple of different fallbacks.

As a result of Twitter is rate-limited, permitting the bot solely 300 tweets each three hours, Shalvah made the obtain hyperlink for every person straightforward to recollect at: That method you may get to your downloads even when the bot can’t reply.

The bot itself is free to make use of, open supply and supported via Patreon donations.

There’s some concern that individuals might obtain movies they don’t have the rights to via a bot like this, or publish them elsewhere and take credit score. Shalvah says he doesn’t consider the bot is in violation of Twitter’s copyright coverage, developer phrases or guidelines.

To date, most individuals appear to be utilizing the bot for private use. However Twitter hasn’t at all times been type to third-party builders, so it stays to be seen how lengthy @this_vid will final.

Shalvah says he intends to maintain @this_vid free and can proceed to develop it.

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