Order of follwers for GET follwers/ids


According to the API documentation, results for the followers/ids endpoint “are ordered with the most recent following first — however, this ordering is subject to unannounced change and eventual consistency issues”.

From other sources, I read that followers on a user’s followers page are displayed according to the same logic – most recent follower first. (Not sure that this is correct, though.)

However, when I get the followers of a specified user from the API, the order does not fully correspond to the order displayed on the followers page. For example, for user @_cingraham,
the list of first ten followers obtained through the API contains two followers that are not shown on the followers page (https://twitter.com/_cingraham/followers).

So, why is there a difference? Which of the two represents the order of following more reliably?


I can’t answer this precisely (i.e. I don’t know the answer for sure), but I’d speculate that this is to do with the eventual consistency mentioned in your first sentence drawn from the documentation. For any account, but particularly for those with a relatively large number of followers, you’ll like find that some information suffers from some latency in replication between data centers and data sources - that is, depending on which of the backend sources your call hits, you may see slight variation between either what your call returns on subsequent attempts, or in the UI.


Thanks for this swift reply!

A follow-up since I am not well acquainted with the logic of data centers etc: Do you know whether these consistencies are more likely to affect API results, or browser/app display?


I’d suspect that these inconsistencies would be more apparent on API calls from external apps, but I can’t state that with 100% certainty (I’m guessing that this is what might be going on, in the first place).