Question about statuses/update limits by user by time


#1

Hi all!

The POST statuses/update method documentation (https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api/1.1/post/statuses/update) says that there is no rate limit for that operation, but says:

“While not rate limited by the API a user is limited in the number of tweets they can create at a time. If the number of updates posted by the user reaches the current allowed limit this method will return an HTTP 403 error.”

Of how much time would be that time window, and how many tweets I could send over it?

Thanks in advance!


#2

The length of the windows and the allocations to a user within those windows are both not disclosed either programmatically or within documentation.


#3

Hello, could you please explain what is that supposed to mean? It is limited but it says it is not. Then these status-update calls are limited based on what?

Thanks in advance.


#4

When we use the words “rate limiting” or “rate limits” on this site, it means a very specific thing where the API itself limits the amount of calls to that resource, and programmatically informs the application what those limits are. In the Twitter API, at this time, only GET-based requests are rate limited.

Every Twitter account has their own allowances for write actions. These allowances are not API allowances, but intrinsic to the account themselves. When a user tweets from Twitter the website, or an application, or through a widget – that user’s allowance is decremented.

So, the method statuses/update itself is not rate limited – but the user’s ability to send tweets is.


#5

Ok, thanks for the info. Now, I’ve still got a couple more questions, if you don’t mind.

Given the case that one account reaches its update limit, does that mean that it’s not allowed to post any more updates for the rest of the day? Or is there some “recovery” time that the user has to wait for?

Furthermore, does twitter block the update capability of an account only when the total daily allowance is reached? or can it happen if the user posts too rapidly before the limit is reached? (as if twitter maybe interpolates the rate of updating and tries to prevent it)… Is this allowance daily anyway?


#6

When an account reaches its update limit, it most likely is a temporary condition that will last an undisclosed amount of time – might be a few minutes, might be a few hours. It can also be possible that it’s the final tweet allowed for that 24 hour period if they exceeded their daily limit. The error message doesn’t disambiguate either condition. If you reach an error in this case, it’s best to exponentially back off from retrying such that first you wait a minute before trying again, then 5 minutes, then 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour and so on – in other words, don’t aggressively retry until a window rolls over.

The allowance is daily but it’s divided into roaming windows of time each with a portion of that overall daily limit.


#7

Thank you very much for your answer.


#8

update: https://support.twitter.com/articles/15364-twitter-limits-api-updates-and-following