Follower id retrieval sometimes missing ids



I am having a strange problem with GET followers/ids. Up until around 2 weeks ago, I was able to correctly get the follower ids for a specific account, but since then the results have not been consistent. While I am able to retrieve the correct list most of the time, every few calls the list is missing certain ids, and these missing ids are the same ones every time. That is to say, there is a set of follower ids that do not always appear every time.

I have noticed this behaviour when doing follower id retrieval for two different accounts, but not for several other accounts which I check on a regular basis. I can confirm that the missing ids are for users that do indeed follow the account and have not been suspended.

Is there any fix for this? I can provide the id for an account that this is happening on as well as the missing ids.


I’ve been noticing that as well. APIs don’t usually have intermittent issues. So it probably isn’t the API at all.

My thoughts: There MAY be some management apps that selectively unfollow then refollow accounts. That would help them get around Twitters max follows limits,(I know, not nice, but it’s the only explanation that fits the “always the same IDs” issue). If you call GET at the wrong time, they are not following so don’t report.

Can anybody else think of another explanation?

UPDATE: I just now (Dec 14, 11:29 EST) checked my account by calling users/show. There I have 18,248 followers. Calling followers/ids pulls 18,042. Is it possible we are looking at two different things? Are we interpreting the info wrong? Is there a delay we don’t know about?

I can’t imagine that 246 of my followers were suspended.


For the heck of it, I also called friends/ids. That shows 16495. users/show tells me it’s 16805

Which is correct?

Checked other accounts of friends etc: This issue is across the board. It’s almost like there’s a 24hr delay before the data syncs


I’m not 100% sure and it seems like it shouldn’t explain hundreds of accounts but… I think that pending follow requests will count towards the totals on users/show but will not display in followers/ids or friends/ids due to not being “real” yet.


Update on this:
I’m still having the same issue. I’ve double checked the relationship statuses between the source user and the problematic ids using GET friendships/show and I’m seeing the same pattern as with GET followers/ids: wildly inconsistent results, even within seconds between calls.

I want to restate that I have confirmed through web client that the missing users are following the affected accounts. I have not seen any evidence of automated unfollow/follow behaviour by the accounts of the missing ids, and I also know for a fact that these missing ids do consistently appear in the follower id list for unaffected accounts. I am highly skeptical that there is anything to suggest misuse on the part of the accounts of the missing ids.

In my case, I have access to the affected accounts and I am sure that it is not an issue with pending follow requests, because I have not set the accounts to private and the issue is occurring with users that have followed months ago (back in May, I believe).

I didn’t have this issue until recently, it was working well for several months. I think there is something wrong with the data or API.


The bottom line is that friends/ids and followers/ids cannot be trusted. I’ll patch with a call to friendships/lookup prior to any action. That one seems to be OK.


Maybe that would account for some. But I don’t think that would explain why the relationships show up in friendships/lookup


Maybe because the relationship exists, it’s just not valid/complete?


Ok, that could very well be the problem. I’ll file that under “Things that make you say Hummmmm”

I suppose I could dig into it user by user to find out for sure. Either way, I can’t keep their status in limbo forever. friendships/lookup fixes my issue.


I have exactly the same problem with this API endpoint:

  • In my scenario I fetch followers/ids each 2 minutes and compare the result to the previous one to get a) new followers, b) people who unfollowed me.
  • I don’t need cursoring, number of my followers are under 5000 so I get all in 1 request.
  • 4 users seems to constantly follow/unfollow, i.e., they appear or disappear from the followers list.
  • I get this fluctuation very often I use the API, for exactly the same set of users, each 2 - 20 minutes.
  • I was manually checking the web of the users when API reported user unfollowed me (ID was missing in followers list). Their “following” and mine “followers” pages were consistent to one another and he was still following me, according to the web.
  • Example times (in one day) the same user was reported by my check as “Unfollowed me” despite the fact according to the web he was still following me (to get the idea how often it disappears from the list):
    • 12:37:18
    • 12:51:42
    • 12:57:53
    • 13:01:44
    • 13:12:02
    • 13:28:34
    • 13:47:08


There’s a good chance that this is related to this other thread relating to inconsistent results from these endpoints. Out of interest, what does the Server: header on the HTTP response say on these calls - it could be an eventual consistency issue.