Twitter limits the number of requests users can make to its server due to overload capacity. Users may see a “Rate limit exceeded” error message when they reach their limit.
A “Rate limit exceeded” error occurs when you make more API (Application Programming Interface) calls than the limit allows within a certain timeframe. Specifically, you’ve made more than 100 API calls in the last hour.
This topic may be complex, especially if you’re not familiar with technology. However, this article provides all the information you need to understand the subject. It covers what causes the error, how to fix it, and general tips to avoid encountering this issue in the future.
Overview of the Rate Limit Exceeded Error on Twitter
The Twitter API software is used to request information from Twitter servers and send it to third-party apps’ servers in a decoded language. This allows developers, analysts, and others to use the data received to create automated posts, understand their target demographic, and more.
To manage the large volume of API requests Twitter servers receive, the app’s developers have implemented a limit on the number of requests each user can make per hour.
Here are some reasons why Twitter has implemented API limits:
- To prevent server overloads that can cause crashes.
- To limit/prevent scams and malicious activities like DDoS attacks.
- To allow Twitter’s API to deliver scalable and accurate information to those who need it.
It’s important to note that Twitter doesn’t enforce API limits on its website. Therefore, if you encounter an error, it’s most likely due to a third-party app. In this case, the official Twitter account will stop working until the rate limit expires.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that sending information to Twitter, such as tweeting or retweeting, won’t deplete your API count. The API limit only applies to those who request information from Twitter’s API.
How Many API Calls Are You Allowed To Make on Twitter?
According to Twitter Support, third-party developers are permitted to make as many as 100 API calls per hour, which are spread out over 15-minute intervals. It is important to keep in mind, however, that each API call request is assigned a different value depending on the action being performed.
Therefore, it is worth noting that refreshing your Twitter page counts as three API calls, which can quickly add up and exhaust your allotted number of API calls if done too frequently. As such, it is recommended that developers carefully consider the value and necessity of each API call request before making it, in order to ensure that they are able to make the most of their allotted number of API calls without running out prematurely.
Here is a breakdown of the number of API calls each action requires:
- To obtain information about Twitter list creation, deletion, or updates, you can use up to 300 API calls every 15 minutes.
- To obtain information about who has liked specific tweets and which tweets they liked, you can only use 75 API calls every 15 minutes.
- To obtain information about who users search for, you can use up to 900 API calls. If you also want to know if they followed the user they searched for, you are allowed 75 API calls every 15 minutes.
- To obtain information about which spaces users search for and whether they manually searched for them, you can use up to 300 API calls every 15 minutes.
How To Avoid Getting the Twitter “Rate Limit Exceeded” Error?
Receiving the “Rate Limit Exceeded” error can be quite inconvenient, but there are ways to avoid this situation while still getting the data you need:
- Reduce your total usage percentage to around 60-70%. This will result in fewer available updates, but it will use fewer of your allowed API requests. You can adjust this setting in the settings window of your third-party app.
- Adjust your search criteria as needed. For example, if you are tracking account engagement using three keywords, consider removing the keyword with fewer updates after each API call request.
- If you anticipate needing the API results for a longer period, store them in your third-party app. This will prevent multiple API requests for the same data.
Fixing the Twitter “Rate Limit Exceeded” Error
Encountering the “Rate Limit Exceeded” error while using Twitter for purposes beyond entertainment can be quite frustrating and time-consuming for developers or other users.
This error message essentially means that the number of requests being sent to Twitter’s server has exceeded the allowed limit. While this limit is put in place to prevent spamming and other malicious activities, it can also be a hindrance to those trying to use Twitter for legitimate purposes.
Fortunately, there are several ways to address this problem and get back to using Twitter without any limitations. One potential solution is to wait until the rate limit window resets, which typically happens within 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the type of request being made. Another option is to optimize the way in which requests are being sent to Twitter in order to reduce the number of requests being made. This can be done by using filters, pagination, or other methods of data organization.
If these solutions do not work, it may be necessary to upgrade to a paid Twitter Developer Account, which allows for a higher rate limit and additional features. It is important to note, however, that this option may not be feasible for everyone, especially those who are just starting out in their development process.
Fix #1: Wait It Out
When an error occurs, preventing you from accessing your account, you may find yourself with some free time on your hands. Instead of waiting idly by, there are a variety of activities you could engage in during this period.
For instance, why not take a quick walk or stretch your legs? You could also use this time to catch up on other tasks you’ve been putting off, such as responding to emails or organizing your workspace.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that in many cases the account restriction is lifted within a matter of minutes, so you may not have to wait very long at all!
Fix #2: Change Your Twitter Account Password
If you find yourself in the situation where waiting for the app-enforced limit is not an option, fear not. There are alternative methods that other users in similar positions have reported success with. One option to consider is changing your Twitter password, which has been known to reset the timer and allow you to continue using the app.
While this solution may seem time-consuming and cumbersome, it is a viable alternative to waiting out the app-enforced limit. Of course, it’s important to note that this solution should only be used as a last resort, when all other options have been exhausted and you are truly cornered.