Twitter is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. While the official Twitter app covers just about the average Twitter user would want to do, thanks to the Twitter API, third-party apps that offer more features or a better layout can also be developed. However, they don’t always have the best user experience.
In this article, we’re talking about the “rate limit exceeded” error on Twitter, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.
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What causes this error?
To avoid third-party developers from overusing the Twitter API, it has restrictions on how many times an app can call the API in a specific amount of time. These restrictions are called “rate limits” and are different for each API endpoint.
For example, when using Twitter API v2, the rate limit for looking up Tweets is 300 per 15 minutes per app and 900 per 15 minutes per user. Twitter has documented these rate limits on each API endpoint’s reference page as well as on a dedicated page here.
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How to fix this?
As a regular Twitter user, you can’t do much about the issue at all. However, if you’re a developer facing this issue in your app or site, coding defensively and making as few API calls as possible is the best way to avoid being rate limited. Twitter suggests the following solutions.
Storing API responses in a cache on your site or app can help reduce the number of API calls significantly, especially if you think you’re going to use a specific API endpoint a lot. Since you’re only referring to the API once and then going to your local cache, this can help solve the rate limiting issue.
Prioritise active users
If your site or app deals with a lot of users, giving all users the same number of API calls across the board can get you rate limited rather quickly. Instead, Twitter suggests prioritising active users and only requesting data for users who recently signed into your app or site.
Take note of search results
If your particular app or site monitors a particularly large volume of search results, you can save on API calls by querying more often for searches with higher results. This means that you can stay updated on high-volume searches without wasting API calls on searches that won’t yield many results. You can also use the filtered stream API endpoint and filter to help filter search queries.
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