Getting Started

Welcome to Alerts.boo, the easiest way to get notified when things happen online. These are the webapp & api developer docs. You can also use our webapp at https://app.alerts.boo

Walkthrough

Overview

Alerts.boo is a realtime alternative to RSS feeds. You can use it to curate content, set alarms, or trigger workflows in Zapier or your own code. For example:

  • šŸ”” Alerts.boo: "When this Twitter account warns of an emergency..." šŸ¤“ You: Send me an urgent email"

  • šŸ”” Alerts.boo: "When this popular page posts about the Roman Empire on Instagram..." šŸ¤“ You: Generate a clever comment with ChatGPT so that I can gain new followers from the comments section"

  • šŸ”” Alerts.boo: "When these people mention my product on X..." šŸ¤“ You: Analyze their post for sentiment and summarize the industry opinions"

Alerts.boo only handles the "When..." portion (which you can define). You will receive a realtime alert whenever that event happens. The rest of the workflow is handled by other apps or your code. Use Alerts.boo to help build your ideas.

Available Social Networks

You can get notified whenever someone uploads content to any of the below social networks:

  • Instagram

  • TikTok

  • Twitter (X)

  • LinkedIn

  • Threads

  • YouTube

We are adding new networks every week. Please vote here for which you want next.

Getting Started

This simple 1 page doc covers everything you need to know. Start by creating an account at https://app.alerts.boo/login

There are two ways to use Alerts.boo

  1. Using the webapp (human friendly)

  2. Using the REST API (for developers)

Webapp Tutorial

For the webapp, watch this video tutorial (no coding skills needed).

For the REST API, we recommend you read below the "Core Concepts". To get hands on, start by generating an API key at https://alerts.boo/api

Get Your API key

Create your API key at https://app.alerts.boo/settings Every account gets free trial credits. You can buy more credits at https://app.alerts.boo/buy

Core Concepts

There are 3 core concept in Alerts.boo for building useful workflows.

  1. Watchers

  2. Alerts

  3. Webhooks

Watchers

A watcher is source of information + filter criteria. For example:

  • When username posts keywords on social network...

  • For example, "When insidehistory posts the Roman Empire on Instagram..."

Watchers continuously watch for updates from that source of information (in this case a user) and will alert you when the keyword criteria is met. It uses Ai to filter keywords, so don't need to be exact. Just give it a prompt like so:

  • Alert me when insidehistory posts on Instagram about the Roman Empire, if it is about ancient food, culture or economics. Do not alert me if its about Roman politics or military, I only want to get posts about the lives of everyday Roman civilians.

You can get as specific as you want, or have no filter criteria at all (just leave it blank). Sidenote: "keywords", "filters", "prompt" are all the same words to describe your watcher criteria.

Currently, watchers can only listen on public profiles and specific events based on the social network. To see a list of all available watchers & events, check out the "Available Watchers" page.

Behind each Watcher is an Android device receiving push notifications from social networks and relaying it to Alerts.boo for you to use. The devices belong to real human volunteers who get paid to relay notifications. We have volunteers all around the world.

You are billed monthly per watcher, ranging from $0.15 to $0.50 each depending on watcher type & scale. Standard watchers are backed by at least 2 devices (in case 1 temporarily goes down). To increase watcher speed & reliability, you can pay for extra watchers backed by 3+ devices. Learn more on our pricing page.

There is no limit on how many watchers you can have.

When your watcher criteria is met, you will recieve an Alert to your webhook, email, Zapier or Telegram. Read about Alerts below.

Alerts (Log)

An Alert is sent to you if your watcher criteria is met.

In the REST API, there are no Alerts, only "Logs" which happens before the filter criteria. Only if the event passes the filter criteria does it actually become an "Alert" and get send to your webhook (or whatever is recieving your alerts).

The log contains information such as:

  • The time the event happened

  • The watcher & filter criteria

  • The outcome of the filter (did it pass?)

  • The user who posted

  • The caption & hashtags in the post

  • The media images & video associated with the post

  • Other metadata depending on the social network

If you would like to see a preview of an Alert, check out the REST API.

You are billed per log, as we also handle the complex web scraping of social media posts and offer Ai compute. The cost per log starts from $0.01 each and differs based on the social network, content type, and your filter criteria. Learn more on our pricing page.

Alerts happen in realtime when the user posts. However, there is no guarantee an alert will arrive immediately, as the social network batches the push notifications. For large accounts with >1M followers, there may be a delay of up to 2 hours (possibly more).

If you need faster realtime alerts, we offer extra watchers that can get the speed down to a few seconds or minutes. Learn more on our pricing page.

All your watchers and alerts can be found on the webapp or API. They are listed per watcher, or per user account.

Alerts get forwarded to you via webhooks, email, Zapier or Telegram. Learn more about webhooks below.

Webhooks

Webhooks are where Alerts get sent. Typically this would be your code, or a Zapier workflow, or an app like Gmail or Telegram. For simplicity, we refer to any such destination under the term "webhook".

To specify a webhook, just add it to the watcher.

The webhook should accept POST requests which will contain the Alert data in the body of the request. If you want a simple way to accept webhooks, we recommend Pipedream, Make, or Zapier.

This is what it looks like when an Alert is forwarded to your webhook, in Javascript:

// --------------------------------------------------------------

// This part is our code firing to your webhook
const MyAlert = {/** Info about the Alert */}
const payload = {
  method: 'POST',
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/json',
    'signing-key': 'optional-signing-key'
  },
  body: JSON.stringify(MyAlert),
};
fetch('https://yourwebsite.com/your-webhook', payload)
  .then(response => response.json())
  .then(data => console.log(data))
  .catch(error => console.error('There was an issue:', error));
  
// --------------------------------------------------------------
  
// This part is your webhook code recieving the alert
const app = express()
app.post('/your-webhook', (req, res) => {
  const alert = req.body
  // do what you want with the data
});

Once the alert gets sent to your webhook, it is up to your imagination what you will do with it.

Edge Cases

If a profile changes its username, your sentry will not be automatically updated. You will need to manually update your sentry with the new url/username of the profile.

Why use Alerts.boo?

You might be wondering, "Can't I just turn on bell notifications on my own smartphone? why would I use a cloud service like Alerts.boo?". Here is why:

  1. The bell notifications on your phone cannot be hooked up to automation workflows. Alerts.boo allows you to intercept these notifications on web so that you can build with them.

  2. Each social media account has a max limit on how many bell notifications it can receive. It is expensive to manage extra accounts and extra devices that may watcher group bans. Instead, use Alerts.boo for unlimited scale without the risk or headache.

  3. If your phone loses wifi or battery, you won't receive notifications. Alerts.boo is on the cloud, which ensures you always get service without risk of a single point of failure.

  4. Your phone will lag when overwhelmed by notifications. Alerts.boo operates on the cloud so you can scale to 100s or 1000s of alerts without relying on your physical device.

  5. Your phone might get delayed bell notifications hours later. Social networks send out notifications in batches, so you might be in a later batch. Alerts.boo operates a large network of accounts to increase the odds of you being notified faster.

In summary, Alerts.boo gives you reliability, scaleability & programmability. We have 1000s of devices all over the world in the hands of human volunteers maintaining the healthiest accounts. Trust us to be your internet scale alerts provider.

REST API

The REST API documentation is available in the next section. Examples are shown in javascript, python & CURL.

Before you start using the REST API, first get your API key from https://app.alerts.boo/settings

Continue to the next section for REST API docs.

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