I’m writing an app that does some housekeeping on your list of followers and, to do this, need to load your entire follower list. To be thorough with my testing I grabbed the follower list of a famous person who has over 3m followers and boom! I ran right into the 350 requests per hour limit. This makes sense, of course, because 3m / 5k = 600 requests, which is way over the limit.
Even if I do my housekeeping on each 5k user block, the processing is going to be done in the blink of an eye and I’ll run into the rate limit again. Forcing the user to wait an hour to complete this work is not practical or desirable.
I thought about caching the list (which I do anyway, but at some point I have to get the latest list from Twitter so that it’s up to date, and I’ll run into the same problem). There doesn’t seem to be a way of asking Twitter for just the ‘new followers since this date’, so I can’t gradually build my list over time (because there also appears to be no ‘this person has unfollowed you’ API call, so I could never prune the user list). Although the API currently returns the followers list ordered with most recent first, the docs state to not rely on this as it may change at some point in the future, and that wouldn’t solve the problem of removing people that no longer follow you.
Does this mean, then, that for users over a certain number of followers, they’ll be unable to use this app? Or am I missing something?
I’m new to the Twitter API, so any help would be greatly appreciated!