Getting "earliest available status" with least overhead



I’m building a bot to fetch user account details and calculate some basic stats about that user.

One thing I’m interested in is the date of the earliest status update available, and the number of status updates since that date.

At the moment, the only way I can see how to do this is to use GET statuses/user_timeline, and fetch either the user’s entire timeline (if their total number of statuses <= 3200) or just the last 3200 statuses (if their total number > 3200). I can then get the earliest created_at date from the last status update fetched, and count the total number of statuses fetched for the values I need.

Although for some purposes, fetching the entire available timeline can be invaluable (as then content analysis can be done on the text and hashtags, RTs and so forth), in my case it is a cumbersome and expensive method, in terms of code and bandwidth.

So far as I can tell, none of the REST API calls can expose the data I want without employing the method I’m using.

Or have I missed something ?


NB this isn’t about getting the total number of statuses a user has posted, as I know that can be got from the user’s main account data as ‘statuses_count’


No, there’s no convenience method that would help you here.