Rate Limiting changes: is it now impossible to list all members of a large (>300 member) list using the REST API?


I’m writing a list management web app against the new REST API 1.1, and either I’m missing something (which is entirely possible) or I’ve discovered a fairly major flaw in the API.

The /lists/members resource is limited to 15 GET requests every 15 minutes. Fine, except there is no way to return all members of the list in a single request: you can only retrieve 20 per call.

This means that for a list with 500 members (the maximum allowed), getting all the list members in 20-user blocks by following the next_cursor would require 25 API calls—which is 10 more than the whole 15-minute quota for any one app. So if you listed the members of one list with around 300 members, that’s your entire quota used up for the next quarter of an hour.

Even for smaller lists, this seems way too restrictive, considering a user can have up ten lists. I noticed this problem when testing my app; I could only view a couple of lists before I got the ‘Too Many Requests’ error message.

Am I doing something wrong here, or is this something that got missed? Any help much appreciated.

Mark B


This is correct. We have gotten feedback that folks would like a higher limit on this method and it’s under consideration but until/if that changes you should operate assuming that it will take you multiple rate limiting windows to process such a list.


Thanks for the reply Taylor; I’m not getting at you personally, but this seems totally absurd to me. Twitter now has an API which will not let you view all the members of a single list unless you wait fifteen minutes halfway through their retrieval?

So If a user with ten 3-500 member lists logs into my app, I somehow have to explain to them that it will take two or three hours for me to be able to show them who is in each of their lists. I have to say, I don’t understand the logic here at all.

Anyway, at this point the app is dead in the water (unless something changes), so I won’t waste any more time on it for now—thanks again for the info.


I have the exact same problem. Current limit makes list management impossible. Hope for a quick update or solution.



Is there a way to get a Twitter Friends/Followers delta?
So that if I have gone to the trouble of saving all of the users Friends locally I can update my local table without having to redo the process all over again?


Taylor - do you have any idea if this change is still under consideration?

If not, I have to change tack a bit on a project I’m working on, where up to now I’ve relied on the assumption that I’ll be able to pull an entire list within a single window.


Sorry - ignore my post above. 15 calls is only for app-only auth. The solution is to generate a user token, and authenticate with that, which gives you 180 calls per 15 minute window. More than enough to pull the entire list.