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A PHP class for querying the Twitter API and rendering tweets 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 API request fails
  • 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 to create a Twitter application at:

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


Your API credentials can be passed as options to the class constructor, along with the any other configuration options:

$TweetPHP = new TweetPHP(array(
  'consumer_key'        => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'consumer_secret'     => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token'        => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token_secret' => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'api_params'          => array('screen_name' => 'twitteruser')

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 options, as shown above.

You should also set an api_endpoint and api_params, an array of parameters to include with the call to the Twitter API.

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

'consumer_key'          => '',
'consumer_secret'       => '',
'access_token'          => '',
'access_token_secret'   => '',
'api_endpoint'          => 'statuses/user_timeline',
'api_params'            => array(),
'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
'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>',
'nofollow_links'        => false, // Add rel="nofollow" attribute to links
'debug'                 => false

Deprecated options

The following options have been deprecated. You should use api_params to set API parameters instead.

'twitter_screen_name'   => ''
'ignore_replies'        => true
'ignore_retweets'       => true

API endpoints

Since TweetPHP uses Twitter's Application-only API authentication model, it can only access certain GET endpoints.

It has been tested with the statuses/user_timeline endpoint (its default) and the search/tweets endpoint.


Fetch a user's timeline


$TweetPHP = new TweetPHP(array(
  'consumer_key'        => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'consumer_secret'     => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token'        => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token_secret' => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'api_endpoint'        => 'statuses/user_timeline',
  'api_params'          => array('screen_name' => 'twitteruser')

echo $TweetPHP->get_tweet_list(); 

Note that the api_endpoint option could be omitted in this case, since 'statuses/user_timeline' is its default value.

Search for a hashtag


$TweetPHP = new TweetPHP(array(
  'consumer_key'        => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'consumer_secret'     => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token'        => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'access_token_secret' => 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx',
  'api_endpoint'        => 'search/tweets',
  'api_params'          => array('q' => '#php', 'result_type'=>'latest')

echo $TweetPHP->get_tweet_list(); 


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().



A PHP class for querying the Twitter API and rendering tweets as an HTML list







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