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As part of a development project we’re working on at SPARK, we’ve partnered with Spredfast to help us grab user content from twitter, facebook and instagram so we can repurpose it for our clients web presence.

After working with this platform for awhile, there are many things I like and also some improvements I would like to see them make, but I’m going to focus on what it is that I like about this platform.

First – rate limiting. They have partnered with the big social platforms so rate limiting is a non-issue. If you’ve ever worked with the twitter API, you know that you can quickly hit that limit in an hour. We needed a way to live stream data, and Spredfast had the pipeline to do that.

Second – user consent system – while this isn’t completely fleshed out the way I’d like it to be, it does give us a way to get consent from users to use their content in advertising and on our web properties. This is huge for us because it means we can start building a library of assets that we can use and also add longevity to a user’s content which may only have lived for a brief moment in time.

Third – ability to divide content up by rules we define. I think this also needs some more work, but as a starting point, it’s nice to have a way to organize our content into different content streams.

Working with their API is very simple, and you get a LOT of data, which is mainly channeled through from the various social networks. You can define your stream and pull the data through JSON, which is great when working with rich internet applications and ad units. The only downside to the API is that it’s a one way stream, I’d love to have the ability to access my account and make changes – think of an external dashboard application that I might use to view and manage content for my clients. Anyway, hopefully they realize the power of this and push it as a future update. But with all that data streaming out, I can at least start building out my own methods for handling the data.

I threw together a quick demo that you can view here: http://spredfast.spark.us

I’m pulling in a gallery of images, and put a quick dropdown selector so you can switch between locations. It’t nothing fancy, but it works.

If you have a campaign your company is running and you need user generated content, I recommend you checking them out!