A Ruby interface to the Twitter API.
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The Twitter Ruby Gem

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A Ruby interface to the Twitter API.


gem install twitter

Looking for the Twitter command-line interface? It was removed from this gem in version 0.5.0 and now exists as a separate project:

gem install t




You should follow @gem on Twitter for announcements and updates about this library.

Mailing List

Please direct questions about this library to the mailing list.

Apps Wiki

Does your project or organization use this gem? Add it to the apps wiki!

What's new in version 4?

Twitter API v1.1

Version 4 of this library targets Twitter API v1.1. To understand the implications of this change, please read the following announcements from Twitter:

Despite the removal of certain underlying functionality in Twitter API v1.1, this library aims to preserve backward-compatibility wherever possible. For example, despite the removal of the GET statuses/retweeted_by_user resource, the Twitter::API#retweeted_by_user method continues to exist, implemented by making multiple requests to the GET statuses/user_timeline resource. As a result, there is no longer a one-to-one correlation between method calls and Twitter API requests. In fact, it's possible for a single method call to exceed the Twitter API rate limit for a resource. If you think this might cause a problem for your application, feel free to join the discussion.

Rate Limiting

Another consequence of Twitter API v1.1 is that the Twitter::Client#rate_limit method has been removed, since the concept of a client-wide rate limit no longer exists. Rate limits are now applied on a per-resource level, however, since there is no longer a one-to-one mapping between methods and Twitter API resources, it's not entirely obvious how rate limit information should be exposed. I've decided to go back to the pre-3.0.0 behavior of including rate limit information on Twitter::Error objects. Here's an example of how to handle rate limits:

num_attempts = 0
  num_attempts += 1
  retweets = Twitter.retweeted_by_user("sferik")
rescue Twitter::Error::TooManyRequests => error
  if num_attempts <= MAX_ATTEMPTS
    # NOTE: Your process could go to sleep for up to 15 minutes but if you
    # retry any sooner, it will almost certainly fail with the same exception.
    sleep error.rate_limit.reset_in

Methods Missing

As a consequence of moving to Twitter API v1.1, the following methods from version 3 are no longer available in version 4:

  • Twitter::API#accept
  • Twitter::API#deny
  • Twitter::API#disable_notifications
  • Twitter::API#enable_notifications
  • Twitter::API#end_session
  • Twitter::API#no_retweet_ids
  • Twitter::API#rate_limit_status
  • Twitter::API#rate_limited?
  • Twitter::API#recommendations
  • Twitter::API#related_results
  • Twitter::API#retweeted_to_user
  • Twitter::API#trends_daily
  • Twitter::API#trends_weekly
  • Twitter::Client#rate_limit
  • Twitter::RateLimit#class

Custom Endpoints

The Twitter::API#update_with_media method no longer uses the custom upload.twitter.com endpoint, so media_endpoint configuration has been removed. Likewise, the Twitter::API#search method no longer uses the custom search.twitter.com endpoint, so search_endpoint configuration has also been removed.


It's worth mentioning new error classes:

  • Twitter::Error::GatewayTimeout
  • Twitter::Error::TooManyRequests
  • Twitter::Error::UnprocessableEntity

In previous versions of this library, rate limit errors were indicated by raising either Twitter::Error::BadRequest or Twitter::Error::EnhanceYourCalm (for the Search API). As of version 4, the library will raise Twitter::Error::TooManyRequests for all rate limit errors. The Twitter::Error::EnhanceYourCalm class has been aliased to Twitter::Error::TooManyRequests.

Identity Map

In version 4, the identity map is disabled by default. If you want to enable this feature, you can use the default identity map or write a custom identity map.

Twitter.identity_map = Twitter::IdentityMap


Twitter API v1.1 requires you to authenticate via OAuth, so you'll need a registered Twitter application. To register a new application, sign-in using your Twitter account and the fill out the form at http://dev.twitter.com/apps/new. If you've previously registered a Twitter application, it will be listed at http://dev.twitter.com/apps. Once you've registered an application, make sure to set the correct access level, otherwise you may see the error:

Read-only application cannot POST

Your new application will be assigned a consumer key/secret pair and you will be assigned an OAuth access token/secret pair for that application. You'll need to configure these values before you make a request or else you'll get the error:

Bad Authentication data

Applications that make requests on behalf of a single Twitter user can pass global configuration options as a block to the Twitter.configure method.

Twitter.configure do |config|
  config.consumer_key = YOUR_CONSUMER_KEY
  config.consumer_secret = YOUR_CONSUMER_SECRET
  config.oauth_token = YOUR_OAUTH_TOKEN
  config.oauth_token_secret = YOUR_OAUTH_TOKEN_SECRET

Alternately, you can set the following environment variables:


After configuration, requests can be made like so:

Twitter.update("I'm tweeting with @gem!")

Thread Safety

Applications that make requests on behalf of multiple Twitter users should avoid using global configuration. In this case, you may still specify the consumer_key and consumer_secret globally. (In a Rails application, this could go in config/initializers/twitter.rb.)

Twitter.configure do |config|
  config.consumer_key = YOUR_CONSUMER_KEY
  config.consumer_secret = YOUR_CONSUMER_SECRET

Then, for each user's access token/secret pair, instantiate a Twitter::Client:

@client_erik = Twitter::Client.new(
  :oauth_token => "Erik's access token",
  :oauth_token_secret => "Erik's access secret"

@client_john = Twitter::Client.new(
  :oauth_token => "John's access token",
  :oauth_token_secret => "John's access secret"

You can now make threadsafe requests as the authenticated user:

Thread.new{@client_erik.update("Tweeting as Erik!")}
Thread.new{@client_john.update("Tweeting as John!")}

Or, if you prefer, you can specify all configuration options when instantiating a Twitter::Client:

@client = Twitter::Client.new(
  :consumer_key => "an application's consumer key",
  :consumer_secret => "an application's consumer secret",
  :oauth_token => "a user's access token",
  :oauth_token_secret => "a user's access secret"

This may be useful if you're using multiple consumer key/secret pairs.


The Faraday middleware stack is fully configurable and is exposed as a Faraday::Builder object. You can modify the default middleware in-place:

Twitter.middleware.insert_after Twitter::Response::RaiseClientError, CustomMiddleware

A custom adapter may be set as part of a custom middleware stack:

Twitter.middleware = Faraday::Builder.new(
  &Proc.new do |builder|
    # Specify a middleware stack here
    builder.adapter :some_other_adapter

Usage Examples

All examples require an authenticated Twitter client. See the section on configuration above.

Tweet (as the authenticated user)

Twitter.update("I'm tweeting with @gem!")

Follow a user (by screen name or user ID)


Fetch a user (by screen name or user ID)


Fetch a cursored list of followers with profile details (by screen name or user ID, or by implict authenticated user)


Fetch a cursored list of friends with profile details (by screen name or user ID, or by implict authenticated user)


Fetch the timeline of Tweets by a user


Fetch the timeline of Tweets from the authenticated user's home page


Fetch the timeline of Tweets mentioning the authenticated user


Fetch a particular Tweet by ID


Find the 3 most recent marriage proposals to @justinbieber

Twitter.search("to:justinbieber marry me", :count => 3, :result_type => "recent").results.map do |status|
  "#{status.from_user}: #{status.text}"

Find a Japanese-language Tweet tagged #ruby (excluding retweets)

Twitter.search("#ruby -rt", :lang => "ja", :count => 1).results.first.text

For more usage examples, please see the full documentation.


To access the Twitter Streaming API, we recommend TweetStream.


You can improve performance by loading a faster JSON parsing library. By default, JSON will be parsed with okjson. For faster JSON parsing, we recommend Oj.


Here are some fun facts about this library:

  • It is implemented in just 2,000 lines of Ruby code
  • With over 5,000 lines of specs, the spec-to-code ratio is about 2.5:1
  • The spec suite contains over 750 examples and runs in about 5 seconds
  • It has 100% C0 code coverage (the tests execute every line of source code at least once)
  • It is comprehensive: you can request all documented Twitter REST API resources (over 100 resources)
  • This gem works on every major Ruby implementation, including JRuby and Rubinius
  • The first version was released on November 26, 2006
  • This gem has just three runtime dependencies: faraday, multi_json, and simple_oauth
  • Previous versions of this gem have been downloaded over half a million times

Supported Ruby Versions

This library aims to support and is tested against the following Ruby version:

  • Ruby 1.8.7
  • Ruby 1.9.2
  • Ruby 1.9.3

This library may inadvertently work (or seem to work) on other Ruby implementations, however support will only be provided for the versions listed above.

If you would like this library to support another Ruby version, you may volunteer to be a maintainer. Being a maintainer entails making sure all tests run and pass on that implementation. When something breaks on your implementation, you will be personally responsible for providing patches in a timely fashion. If critical issues for a particular implementation exist at the time of a major release, support for that Ruby version may be dropped.


This library aims to adhere to Semantic Versioning 2.0.0. Violations of this scheme should be reported as bugs. Specifically, if a minor or patch version is released that breaks backward compatibility, that version should be immediately yanked and/or a new version should be immediately released that restores compatibility. Breaking changes to the public API will only be introduced with new major versions. As a result of this policy, you can (and should) specify a dependency on this gem using the Pessimistic Version Constraint with two digits of precision. For example:

spec.add_dependency 'twitter', '~> 4.0'

Additional Notes

This will be the last major version of this library to support Ruby 1.8. Requiring Ruby 1.9 will allow us to remove various hacks put in place to maintain Ruby 1.8 compatibility. The first stable version of Ruby 1.9 was released on August 19, 2010. If you haven't found the opportunity to upgrade your Ruby interpreter since then, let this be your nudge. Once version 5 of this library is released, all previous versions will cease to be supported, even if critical security vulnerabilities are discovered.


Copyright (c) 2006-2012 John Nunemaker, Wynn Netherland, Erik Michaels-Ober, Steve Richert. See LICENSE for details.