Getting "TwythonError: Twitter API returned a 503 (Service Unavailable), Over capacity" response from the 'statuses/mentions_timeline.json' endpoint



Hello, my name is Zachary Cox and I am with Alight Analytics. We are a company that builds integrations with API’s like yours and provides a programmatic way for our clients to get the data they want. Right now we are having an issue with a request for one of our clients. A little background of the issue is when requesting this endpoint: ‘’‘’ with the proper parameters and authentication(which I can provide, don’t want to post them here) we are getting back the response: ‘TwythonError: Twitter API returned a 503 (Service Unavailable), Over capacity’ which has been the response for this request since late June. I’ve tried this particular request at different times throughout the day and have tried other things like exponential backoff types of requests. We are not having trouble with this endpoint with any of our other clients. I am reaching out to see if your support can assist us with this issue. Let me know what you need from me and how I can safely provide you credentials and other client sensitive data. Thanks


How many mentions are you expecting from the client in question?
Can you please provide your request and remove your auth tokens?


I don’t have access to my client’s Twitter interface, but the last time we were able to pull data was on 2018-06-24 and the number of mentions that day were 209, but on 2018-06-23 this client had 935 mentions for this credential.

And sure, just a heads up we the Twython API for authentication. Here’s the request we’re making:

self._request(url, method=method, params=params,
Where self is the Twython object
url = ‘’‘’’’
params = {‘count’: 200, ‘contributor_details’: 0, ‘screen_name’: ‘xxxxxxx’, ‘since_id’: u’999999916268310530’, ‘include_entities’: 0, ‘trim_user’: 1, ‘max_id’: None, ‘include_rts’: 1}

Let me know what else you need from me.


This sounds like it might be an issue with the number of mentions that could potentially come through. You might want to explore using either the Premium or Enterprise Search APIs instead. Both of those options have a higher fidelity than mentions/timeline and are generally more reliable.


Is it possible that you could confirm that? I don’t want to suggest to my client to upgrade their service if this won’t fix the issue


Hey LeBraat,

I’m curious if you’ve had time to look into my last inquiry? Or could you provide me an update?



I can confirm that using the Premium or Enterprise Search API will fix the issue, but it will require some reworking of your code.


Hi LeBraat,

My name is Mike Wieners and I’m the Senior Integrations Engineer. I was doing some research on this issue and the proposed solution and was hoping to get some help.

First, I’m curious if a change was made to the API limits around or about 6/28 when this problem arose for us. This account was at a relative low point for mentions when this issue arose and as recently as June 10th, we were able to retrieve over 12,000 tweets at a time for this client.

Second, we were pulling from the GET statuses/mentions_timeline endpoint and limits appear to be by connected account. Do the Premium/Enterpise offerings work the same way?

Thanks for your help


Hi LeBraat

It’s Mike again! Because this issue only impacts one of our client’s accounts and only on the mentions_timeline method, I’m looking at trying to refactor our application to pull mentions within the bounds of the documented limits while still retrieving all of the mentions. However, there are three different limits listed in the documentation:

  1. Returns the 20 most recent mentions
  2. This method can only return up to 800 tweets
  3. Parameters: count - Specifies the number of Tweets to try and retrieve, up to a maximum of 200.
    This is confusing. Can you help me out with what this means?