Rate limits & user ID recycling?



Hello everyone!

I am trying to use the Python module Tweepy to analyse tweets. Therefore these questions are framed within the Python language, just since I don’t know how else to frame them, but in reality they are of a more general type.

  1. In Tweepy there is a method called “API.user_timeline”, which downloads tweets from a users timeline (documentation: https://tweepy.readthedocs.io/en/v3.6.0/api.html). This does not involve the Streaming API. My question is: does the rate limits still apply? In other words, is there a limit to how many tweets I can download from a users timelines using this method? Or are these limits only for the Streaming APIs?

  2. I use user ID:s to specify which accounts to download tweets from. These ID:s come from a list of automated twitter accounts. Assume some of the accounts on that list were deleted before I got my hands on the list. Will their ID:s be recycled? I.e., is there a chance that when I download tweets using the ID:s in the list, I’m not in fact downloading tweets from these automated accounts, but from other, new accounts, for which the automated accounts’ ID:s have been re-purposed?

Thank you very much in advance!


I’m not a Twitter staff member but here’s what I know

  1. There are RATE limits for all twitter endpoints. AFAIK there are no exceptions though some are so high it’s hard to hit them with any reasonable use case. I would always plan to space out requests to avoid hitting limits.

  2. I’ve been using Twitter professionally for 5 years and I’ve never seen an ID reused. You can rest assured that would not be a common scenario and I would assume is a bug.


Thanks again @bobber205.


  1. Mr Bobber205 is correct. We do have rate limits on all of our endpoints. You can see a list of the different rate limits associated with our standard APIs here, and most of our API Reference pages have rate limits listed there as well. ex/ GET statuses/user_timeline

  2. Would you mind providing an example of one of these user IDs for me to check?


Twitter user IDs are unique and are never recycled.


bobber205, @LeBraat @andypiper Thank you all so very much, helped me a ton!