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IRESS, a supplier of share market systems has created a tool that lets Twitter users send a tweet to receive share price information.

IRESS, a supplier of share market systems in Australia, Asia, Canada, New Zealand the UK and South Africa, has created a Twitter tool that allows anyone following the @iress_data account to request share price information, using tweets alone and at no cost.

Users request data by sending a tweet to the @iress_data account in the following format: #.

They can request information on multiple shares or the same share on different exchanges – using a single tweet. For example, a user looking for Apple’s share price on the NASDAQ would tweet “@iress_data #aapl.nas” and would receive a reply with the day’s high, low and change along with a timestamp of when the information was last updated.

Users can request market data from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), London Stock Exchange (LSE), Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), New York Stock Exchange (NYS) and NASDAQ (NAS).

IRESS South Africa developed the service and, as such, local share data requests on JSE Top40 equities also link to IRESS’s news archive on the particular share.

If a user isn’t following @iress_data when they make a request, they will be prompted to do so. If they type an invalid sharecode the service will inform them of this. IRESS will reply with multiple messages if needed, and users can unfollow the service at any time.

Ashley Mendelowitz, MD of EMEA and North America at IRESS, explains that the service was created in response to suggestions from staff members.

“IRESS Web Services is a global market data repository that collects live data from most of the world’s major exchanges. Our API (Application Programming Interface) allows our products to pull data from that repository, and we wanted to see if we could tie it into Twitter’s API to make market data readily available to people who might not otherwise be able to access it.

Mendelowitz says @iress_data came from the company realising it had data that people were interested in, and that it had the skills, expertise and resources to bridge the gap between the two with minimal effort. “It’s the perfect solution for Africa, where mobile phone penetration is high but access to traditional media or the Internet can be limited,” he says, adding that IRESS has no interest in charging for the service.

The data is delayed by 15 minutes and is pulled directly from the various stock exchanges, meaning users can rely on its integrity. While the service isn’t intended for real-time investment, it offers numerous potential applications for news organisations, listed companies and anyone else looking for reliable market data on the run.

“It’s a simple solution for now,” Mendelowitz says, “but there are great opportunities for further development, like creating Twitter tools to help listed companies engage with their followers while simultaneously giving their followers access to information”.

There’s also the possibility of using the direct message (DM) function on Twitter to allow users to check their personal portfolios if they have an IRESS account, or even building custom widgets for listed companies’ investor relations pages that update regularly and automatically.

IRESS has been delivering market data for over 10 years and has more than 10 000 professional market data users globally.

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