Polling for favourite / RT counts for many Twitter accounts



My web-app enables users to schedule messages on multiple social plaforms, I would now like to capture the engagement of each tweet (likes, rts, etc) and preferably DM’s and new followers etc.

From what I can see, the site stream is exactly what I need, I’ve applied for access, but I haven’t heard anything as yet. The user-stream sounds too restrictive (‘Each Twitter account is limited to only a few simultaneous User Streams connections per OAuth application’) and public streams only tell me when a new message has been created, but nothing about engagements over a period of time.

I’m wondering the sensible alternatives are (whilst waiting for site-stream approval), i.e request the users statuses/user_timeline frequently, using paging to get as many as possible within the quota limits.

Is there any way of reversing the direction / enumerating backwards; rather than using ‘since’ stating ‘before’?