PHP class for fetching tweets from a Twitter user's timeline, and rendering them as an HTML list.
PHP Perl
Latest commit b5384a9 Mar 16, 2015 @jnicol Cleanup


A PHP class for fetching tweets from a Twitter user's timeline, and rendering them as an HTML list.


  • Works with Twitter API v1.1
  • Tweets are cached to avoid exceeding Twitter’s API request rate limits
  • A fallback is provided in case the twitter feed fails to load
  • Retweets and @replies can optionally be ignored
  • A configuration parameter allows you to specify how many tweets are displayed
  • Dates can optionally be displayed in “Twitter style”, e.g. “12 minutes ago”
  • You can customize the HTML that wraps your tweets, tweet status and meta information


To interact with Twitter's API you will need an API KEY, which you can create at:

After creating your API Key you will need to take note of following values: "Consumer key", "Consumer secret", "Access token", "Access token secret"

Those values can be passed as options to the class constructor, along with the Twitter screen name you wish to query:

$TweetPHP = new TweetPHP(array(
  'consumer_key'              => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'consumer_secret'           => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token'              => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token_secret'       => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'twitter_screen_name'       => 'yourusername'

Then you can display the results like so:

echo $TweetPHP->get_tweet_list();

You can also retreive the raw data received from Twitter:

$tweet_array = $TweetPHP->get_tweet_array();


Options can be overridden by passing an array of key/value pairs to the class constructor. At a minimum you must set the consumer_key, consumer_secret, access_token, access_token_secret and twitter_screen_name options, as shown above.

Here is a full list of options, and their default values:

'consumer_key'          => '',
'consumer_secret'       => '',
'access_token'          => '',
'access_token_secret'   => '',
'twitter_screen_name'   => '',
'enable_cache'          => true,
'cache_dir'             => dirname(__FILE__) . '/cache/', // Where on the server to save cached tweets
'cachetime'             => 60 * 60, // Seconds to cache feed (1 hour).
'tweets_to_retrieve'    => 25, // Specifies the number of tweets to try and fetch, up to a maximum of 200
'tweets_to_display'     => 10, // Number of tweets to display
'ignore_replies'        => true, // Ignore @replies
'ignore_retweets'       => true, // Ignore retweets
'twitter_style_dates'   => false, // Use twitter style dates e.g. 2 hours ago
'twitter_date_text'     => array('seconds', 'minutes', 'about', 'hour', 'ago'),
'date_format'           => '%I:%M %p %b %e%O', // The defult date format e.g. 12:08 PM Jun 12th. See:
'date_lang'             => null, // Language for date e.g. 'fr_FR'. See:
'twitter_template'      => '<h2>Latest tweets</h2><ul id="twitter">{tweets}</ul>',
'tweet_template'        => '<li><span class="status">{tweet}</span><span class="meta"><a href="{link}">{date}</a></span></li>',
'error_template'        => '<li><span class="status">Our twitter feed is unavailable right now.</span> <span class="meta"><a href="{link}">Follow us on Twitter</a></span></li>',
'debug'                 => false


Caching is employed because Twitter rate limits how many times their feeds can be accessed per hour.

When the user timeline is first loaded, the resultant HTML list is saved as a text file on your web server. The default location for this file is: cache/twitter.txt

The raw Twitter response is saved as a serialized array in: cache/twitter-array.txt

You can change these file paths using the cache_dir option. For example, to set a path from your root public directory try:

$_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/path/to/my/cache/dir/'


If you are experiencing problems using the script please set the debug option to true. This will set PHP's error reporting level to E_ALL, and will also display a debugging report.

You can also fetch the debugging report as an array or HTML list, even when the debug option is set to false:

echo $TweetPHP->get_debug_list();
$debug_array = $TweetPHP->get_debug_array();

Helper methods


Pass raw tweet text to autolink() and it will convert all usernames, hashtags and URLs to HTML links.

$autolinked_tweet = $TweetPHP->autolink($tweet);

This might be handy if you want to process tweets yourself, using the array returned by get_tweet_array().