Control of friends and followers on Twitter (API 1.1 update)

More than 2 years ago (that's a lot of time!) I published a simple Python script to monitor a Twitter account using Tweepy: basic account information, inactive friends and new/lost followers. But this script stopped working some time ago because Twitter updated its API to version 1.1. This update made obligatory using authentication to make any request and they also modified the request limits. Before the update, there was a limit of 150/350 requests per hour, depending on whether the request was authenticated or not, but now these limits are per request type and per 15 minutes. For example, to get a list of friends you can make a maximum of 15 requests per quarter of hour, but you can make other 15 to get a list of followers. If someone is late (like me) with the new API here you can find the full changelog.

Before starting to modify the code I had to update the Tweepy version too (2.1). The best and easiest way is using pip:

$ pip install tweepy


Control of friends and followers on Twitter

I'm going to lay aside PDF files and malware to write a simple script to control friends and followers on Twitter. We use to have a lot of them and it's difficult to know if our friends haven't written some time ago or our followers have left. But we can use one of the multiple modules (talking about Python) to communicate with the Twitter API and solve this task. I've chosen Tweepy because I think it's very simple and well documented. What we want to obtain from Twitter is:

It's important to highlight that we cannot obtain all the friends/followers with one API request  but  only 100 each time. We can use the Cursors object from Tweepy to solve this very easily:

followersCursor = tweepy.Cursor(tweepy.api.followers,id=user)
for follower in followersCursor.items():



Language: Python

Publication date: 2011-08-16

Update: 2013-09-08

Description: Simple script to show details of a given Twitter account: basic account information, inactivity of friends, new and lost followers, etc.

Requirements: Tweepy

Download it!




Usage: twitter_user


Syndicate content