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Extended Tweets

This supplements Twitter's Tweet updates documentation.

Introduction

On May 24, 2016, Twitter announced changes to the way that replies and URLs are handled and published plans around support for these changes in the Twitter API and initial technical documentation describing the updates to Tweet objects and API options.[1] On September 26, 2017, Twitter started testing 280 characters for certain languages,[2] and on November 7, 2017, announced that the character limit was being expanded for Tweets in languages where cramming was an issue.[3]

Standard API methods

Any tweepy.API method that returns a Status object accepts a new tweet_mode parameter. Valid values for this parameter are compat and extended, which give compatibility mode and extended mode, respectively. The default mode (if no parameter is provided) is compatibility mode.

Compatibility mode

By default, using compatibility mode, the text attribute of Status objects returned by tweepy.API methods is truncated to 140 characters, as needed. When this truncation occurs, the truncated attribute of the Status object will be True, and only entities that are fully contained within the available 140 characters range will be included in the entities attribute. It will also be discernible that the text attribute of the Status object is truncated as it will be suffixed with an ellipsis character, a space, and a shortened self-permalink URL to the Tweet.

Extended mode

When using extended mode, the text attribute of Status objects returned by tweepy.API methods is replaced by a full_text attribute, which contains the entire untruncated text of the Tweet. The truncated attribute of the Status object will be False, and the entities attribute will contain all entities. Additionally, the Status object will have a display_text_range attribute, an array of two Unicode code point indices, identifying the inclusive start and exclusive end of the displayable content of the Tweet.

Streaming

By default, the Status objects from streams may contain an extended_tweet attribute representing the equivalent field in the raw data/payload for the Tweet. This attribute/field will only exist for extended Tweets, containing a dictionary of sub-fields. The full_text sub-field/key of this dictionary will contain the full, untruncated text of the Tweet, and the entities sub-field/key will contain the full set of entities. If there are extended entities, the extended_entities sub-field/key will contain the full set of those. Additionally, the display_text_range sub-field/key will contain an array of two Unicode code point indices, identifying the inclusive start and exclusive end of the displayable content of the Tweet.

Handling Retweets

When using extended mode with a Retweet, the full_text attribute of the Status object may be truncated with an ellipsis character instead of containing the full text of the Retweet. However, since the retweeted_status attribute (of a Status object that is a Retweet) is itself a Status object, the full_text attribute of the Retweeted Status object can be used instead.

This also applies similarly to Status objects/payloads that are Retweets from streams. The dictionary from the extended_tweet attribute/field contains a full_text sub-field/key that may be truncated with an ellipsis character. Instead, the extended_tweet attribute/field of the Retweeted Status (from the retweeted_status attribute/field) can be used.

Examples

Given an existing tweepy.API object and id for a Tweet, the following can be used to print the full text of the Tweet, or if it's a Retweet, the full text of the Retweeted Tweet:

status = api.get_status(id, tweet_mode="extended")
try:
    print(status.retweeted_status.full_text)
except AttributeError:  # Not a Retweet
    print(status.full_text)

If status is a Retweet, status.full_text could be truncated.

This Status event handler for a StreamListener prints the full text of the Tweet, or if it's a Retweet, the full text of the Retweeted Tweet:

def on_status(self, status):
    if hasattr(status, "retweeted_status"):  # Check if Retweet
        try:
            print(status.retweeted_status.extended_tweet["full_text"])
        except AttributeError:
            print(status.retweeted_status.text)
    else:
        try:
            print(status.extended_tweet["full_text"])
        except AttributeError:
            print(status.text)

If status is a Retweet, it will not have an extended_tweet attribute, and status.text could be truncated.

Footnotes

[1]https://twittercommunity.com/t/upcoming-changes-to-simplify-replies-and-links-in-tweets/67497
[2]https://twittercommunity.com/t/testing-280-characters-for-certain-languages/94126
[3]https://twittercommunity.com/t/updating-the-character-limit-and-the-twitter-text-library/96425
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