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R client for accessing Twitter’s REST and stream APIs. Check out the rtweet package documentation website.

Package Functionality

There are several R packages for interacting with Twitter’s APIs. See how {rtweet} compares to these others in the chart below.

Task rtweet twitteR streamR RTwitterAPI
Available on CRAN
Updated since 2016
Non-‘developer’ access
Extended tweets (280 chars)
Parses JSON data
Converts to data frames
Automated pagination
Search tweets
Search users
Stream sample
Stream keywords
Stream users
Get friends
Get timelines
Get mentions
Get favorites
Get trends
Get list members
Get list memberships
Get list statuses
Get list subscribers
Get list subscriptions
Get list users
Lookup collections
Lookup friendships
Lookup statuses
Lookup users
Get retweeters
Get retweets
Post tweets
Post favorite
Post follow
Post messsage
Post mute
Premium 30 day
Premium full archive
Run package tests

Responsible use

{{rtweet}} should be used in strict accordance with Twitter’s developer terms.

Installation

To get the current released version from CRAN:

To get the current development version from Github:

Usage

All you need is a Twitter account (user name and password) and you can be up in running in minutes!

Simply send a request to Twitter’s API (with a function like search_tweets(), get_timeline(), get_followers(), get_favorites(), etc.) during an interactive session of R, authorize the embedded rstats2twitter app (approve the browser popup), and your token will be created and saved/stored (for future sessions) for you!

API authorization

All users must be authorized to interact with Twitter’s APIs. To become authorized, simply use a function like search_tweets(), get_timeline(), get_followers(), or get_favorites() in an interactive session an authorize via web browser popup on behalf of your Twitter account!

It is no longer necessary to obtain a developer account and create your own Twitter application to use Twitter’s API. You may still choose to do this (gives you more stability and permissions; see the table at the bottom of this section), but {rtweet} should work out of the box assuming (a) you are working in an interactive/live session of R and (b) you have installed the {httpuv} package.

  • If you still want to apply for a developer account and create your own application, see the auth vignette (or the API authorization section below) for additional instructions: https://rtweet.info/articles/auth.html.
Task rstats2twitter user-app
Work interactively
Search/lookup tweets/users
Get friends/followers
Get timelines/favorites
Get lists/collections
Post tweets
Run package tests
Use Bearer token
Read/Write Direct Messages

Package features

Search tweets

Search for up to 18,000 (non-retweeted) tweets containing the rstats hashtag.

Quickly visualize frequency of tweets over time using ts_plot().

Twitter rate limits cap the number of search results returned to 18,000 every 15 minutes. To request more than that, simply set retryonratelimit = TRUE and rtweet will wait for rate limit resets for you.

Search by geo-location—for example, find 10,000 tweets in the English language sent from the United States. Note: lookup_coords() requires users have a Google API key

Stream tweets

Randomly sample (approximately 1%) from the live stream of all tweets.

Stream all geo enabled tweets from London for 60 seconds.

Stream all tweets mentioning realDonaldTrump or Trump for a week.

Get favorites

Get the 3,000 most recently favorited statuses by JK Rowling.

jkr <- get_favorites("jk_rowling", n = 3000)

Search users

Search for 1,000 users with the rstats hashtag in their profile bios.

Post actions

  • Posting (tweeting from R console) or reading direct messages require additional permissions
  • If you’d like to post Twitter statuses, follow or unfollow accounts, and/or read your direct messages, you’ll need to create your own Twitter app
  • To create your own Twitter app, follow the instructions in the authorization vignette on obtaining and using access tokens

Contact

Communicating with Twitter’s APIs relies on an internet connection, which can sometimes be inconsistent. With that said, if you encounter an obvious bug for which there is not already an active issue, please create a new issue with all code used (preferably a reproducible example) on Github.

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