I’m working on a little slideshow that shows while people install the Ubuntu operating system, and I am hoping to add a Twitter search widget (or maybe something hand-made with the Search API) that shows recent tweets containing #ubuntu. This would appear for basically everyone running the installer. Though I don’t have the numbers on hand for fresh installs done near each release, Ubuntu is quite popular. I expect there would be a significant number of search queries (200,000?), all from different IP addresses, all for that same thing. I realize there is no specific rate limit with this widget — just a limit per IP address per hour. What I wonder is how this kind of traffic gets handled on Twitter’s end, and if there is a possibility of the feature breaking (or making Twitter angry).
I have no way of knowing (and this number is probably a bit much given the surprising ratio of normal users to crazy ones), but for the sake of argument let’s just pretend there are 800,000 installs on the same day. I’m assuming the search queries end up being cached, but would Twitter mind that many similar queries suddenly popping up within a day? Is it an ordinary occurrence, or will it be good if the results are cached on Ubuntu’s end in advance? If so, how can we go about doing that?