The Good and Bad of the Twitter API

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The verdict is in! After some extensive research into the Twitter API, here is a pretty base-level list of both the pros and cons to using the Twitter API.

The Good

  • Search Capability: The first API that tools can use to search on Twitter is the Search API. This lets you search through publicly posted tweets. You can get a feel of how this works when you run a search on keywords, usernames and places are the main things you can search for through this API.
  • Live Tweets: Another API that Twitter offers is the Streaming API. Unlike the Search API, the Streaming API gives you tweets in (near) real-time as long as they match your search query (e.g. keywords, usernames, places). This is instrumental for gathering live data, and is a huge plus for this API. While it is sort of an expectation to have this, it’s still great that they do.

The Bad

  • Limited Queries: As would be expected, unless you are willing to pay a hefty price, the Twitter API will cut off the number of tweets you receive per day. While it makes sense to have this limit, it is a definite barrier to a company or developer who lacks the resources to dish out large sums of cash to achieve this.

All in all, the Twitter API is about what you would expect it to be. That doesn’t sound complimentary, but it is important because it has the potential to be an essential asset for campaign management, and clearly serves its purpose for those who are willing and able to pay a pretty penny.