I have made the difficult decision to shut down Tradebreaker due to the changes in pricing of the Twitter API.
Tradebreaker was a mobile and web app that subscribed to NHL insiders on Twitter and sent notifications when they tweeted about trades, signings, and other news. To achieve this it used the Twitter API (in particular its “filtered streams”), for which the free tier was enough. If I were to keep Tradebreaker running under the new pricing I would need to pay for the “Pro” plan – $5,000 USD per month. Simply put, that’s way too much.
These changes went into effect a few months ago (Tradebreaker actually hasn’t been working ever since) but I wanted to wait a while before making this decision just incase they changed their minds. At this point it’s clear that they won’t and it’s such an unreasonable amount of money that there really is no path forward here with Twitter, which was fundamental to how Tradebreaker worked. Maybe I’ll revisit it in the future if the pricing ever does change, or if a Twitter alternative comes along that has a hockey media presence. But for now, regrettably, I am shutting it down.
I still remember the early days when I first started working on Tradebreaker (then known as “Tradey McTradeface”). I was prototyping it while watching the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, and the first news that it broke was Cam Ward re-signing with the Hurricanes on June 16, 2016. I was so excited to see it actually work.
I shared an early version of it on r/hockey to get some feedback before planning to release it on July 1 – just in time for free agency.
Then on June 29, the 23 minutes that shook the hockey world happened: Subban traded for Weber, Hall traded for Larsson, and Stamkos re-signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tradebreaker sent notifications for all of them and I thought the app was horribly broken. I didn’t believe any of these things were happening. Did someone hack the app? Were these fake Twitter accounts? Did the insiders get hacked? Much to my disbelief, it was all real and Tradebreaker was working as intended. That day was a memorable one for hockey; but for me it was extra memorable because I realized I had made something really cool.
It’s hard to believe that was 7 years ago. Thank you to everyone who used Tradebreaker over the years. It was a fun project to work on and a lot more people used it than I ever expected.