Streaming was a VERY good+easy way to get low key sampling data, without digging into heavy duty "last x million tweets" data dumps. A couple of lines of code (ie minimum wasted researcher time) and you could start collecting/analysing data.
It is very much missed.
Not to mention, of course, the damage removing streaming has done to the general Twitter ecosystem: http://apps-of-a-feather.com/7 votes
Streaming endpoints have always been available, and are still available in the v2 Twitter API. The recently released Academic Research product track increases the access levels to this and other endpoints: https://twittercommunity.com/t/introducing-the-new-academic-research-product-track/148632
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