Getting retweets of any user


I mostly use the streaming API, which returns retweets of any account I request with the follow parameter. I’m now writing an ebook on using the REST and SEARCH APIs to gather all tweets by and about a user. I may be missing something, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to get the retweets of any user with these methods.

statuses/retweets_of_me returns retweets of the authenticated user, but none of the timeline or search methods return retweets of a different user. To be clear, if I use OAuth credentials for @fred, how can I get the retweets of @sally? Assume I do not have OAuth credentials for @sally.

Is this capability missing from 1.1? I have a clear memory of the search API returning retweets of @sally in the past. That is no longer happening.

I understand that I could get this with the streaming API, but is there a way to do it with REST or Search? I want to document this correctly in this book.



If you knew each tweet ID of a specific user and none of those tweets were ever retweeted more than 100 times, you could potentially get all the retweets for that user in the REST API – but it’s not very practical.

The Streaming API is the primary way to collect information like this.

The Search API is all about relevance and not completeness – it might show you 1 retweet when there are 10 one day, and all 10 another day. How it interprets queries changes over time.

If you didn’t have credentials for @sally, using the Streaming API’s follow method will be your best bet for tracking that user’s retweets.