This article gives you brief insights on Twitter bots, automation tools, and their features with Python to take your interest to a new level.
A Twitterbot is a program that integrates with the Twitter platform and automatically posts, retweets, likes or follows other users. Twitterbots can be useful via providing intriguing information and updates, that are fun or humorous.
You can use a local computer to establish and run a Twitterbot. To keep it running consistently running, a Python programming environment on a server can be ideal for this project. To keep the operations in full swing, you should have a Twitter account that is associated with a valid phone number that should be added via the Mobile section of your settings when you’re logged in.
To create a Twitter app you will have to install the Python Tweepy library, have your Consumer Key, Consumer Secret, Access Token, and Access Token Secret in hand before you proceed further.
What Is Tweepy?
It is an open-source Python package that gives you a very convenient way to access the Twitter API with Python. It features a set of classes and methods that represent Twitter’s models, API endpoints that transparently handles various implementation details which includes the following:
- Data encoding and decoding
- HTTP requests
- Results pagination
- OAuth authentication
- Rate limits
The key reason to use Tweepy is avoiding to deal with low-level details having to do with HTTP requests, data serialisation, authentication and rate limits which is not only time consuming and prone to error. Because of Tweepy, you can focus on the functionality that you plan to build as all the functionality provided by Twitter API can be used through Tweepy.
Tweepy provides a way to invoke the HTTP endpoints without dealing with low-level details. The Twitter API uses OAuth, a widely used open authorisation protocol, to authenticate all the requests. Before making any call to the Twitter API, you need to create and configure your authentication credentials.
Features of Latest Tweepy Version 3.6.0 features the following (Source: GitHub):
- Allow streams to use daemon threads
- Remove API.set_delivery_device
- Remove simplejson import and usage
- Allow cursor parameter for API.blocks_ids and API.mutes_ids
- Drop support for Python 3.4
- Allow perform_block parameter for API.report_spam
- Add API.mutes
- Allow count parameter for API.friends
- Remove since, from, to and source as allowed parameters for API.search
- Handle location deletion and withheld content notices for streams
- Allow usage of equality and difference operators with User objects
- Add _json attribute to Category, Friendship, and List models
- Remove API.suggested_categories, API.suggested_users, and API.suggested_users_tweets
- Update and improve tests and cassettes
- Update DirectMessage model
- Replace API.direct_messages and API.sent_direct_messages with API.list_direct_messages
- Update API.get_direct_message, API.send_direct_message, and API.destroy_direct_message
- Update and improve various documentation
This gives developers access to most of Twitter’s functionality and the API can be used to read and write information related to Twitter entities such as tweets, users and trends.
The API exposes dozens of HTTP endpoints which includes the following:
- Direct messages
Twitterbot API is used to build dynamic automation such as bots, analytics, and other tools. Twitter imposes certain restrictions and policies about what you can and cannot build using its API which is practised to guarantee users a good experience in which the development of tools to spam, mislead users and so on is forbidden.
The Twitterbot API also imposes rate limits about how frequently you’re allowed to invoke API methods in which exceeding these limits can result in waiting between five and 15 minutes to be able to use the API again. This should be considered while designing and implementing bots to avoid unnecessary waits.
Creating a Twitterbot
- Apply for a developer account
- Create a Twitter app
- Setup a development environment
- Link your Twitter app and dev environment
- Program the bot
- Test the bot
Other Functionalities to Include in a Python TwitterBot
- Retrieve information about a particular Twitterbot user using User methods
- Send direct messages to users through Direct Message Methods
- Follow and unfollow users using Friendship Methods
- Block and unblock users with Block Methods
Building the Bot
- Follow everyone following you
- Favourite and Retweet a Tweet based on keywords
- Reply to a user based on a keyword
Tweepy’s functionality can be divided into the following groups:
- The API class
Programming a Twitterbot is a fun side project. You can build a robust Twitterbot as part of your fleet of social media marketing solutions which can provide valuable customer service when a human isn’t active. It can be further utilized to curate a list of Twitter accounts that align perfectly with your business – increasing your brand awareness. For smarter bots with multi-purposes, however, it’s worth looking into bot platforms software.
However, you decide to program your Twitter bot, be sure to follow the above steps closely and experiment with different actions. Twitter bots aren’t the only bots taking social media by storm. Check out our complete guide on Facebook chatbots and the ways businesses are leveraging them to automate marketing, customer service, and even sales.
According to bumped.in, the best Twitter bots and automation tools includes:
- Tweetsocial: These guys know the difference between what’s real and what isn’t and do everything they can to point you in the right direction so that you don’t come up on Twitter’s radar. They do this by optimising your account through their Twitter growth service. They want your content and your uploads to have a great reach, and you can even try them on for size without any additional risk. They have advanced targeting features, and they also have a feature where you can set and forget their service that is carried out by their case managers, so you don’t even have to think about it all the time.
- Jarvee: They’re one of the OG’s of the online marketing industry, and at times where everyone else has seemingly gone down, they have remained strong and steady. This makes them a great contender for anything to do with your Twitter, whether it’s scheduling upcoming tweets or helping you grow your fan base. It is a dashboard that you download onto your computer, and you need to have Windows to use it.
- Tweet Attacks Pro: they’re capable of helping you manage not one, or two, but hundreds if not thousands of Twitter accounts at once, which is great if you work within an agency where your job is to manage hundreds of social media accounts at once. It has features like smart task settings and even API integration that can streamline your experience online. They also have an account manager feature that’s going to help you organize all of your accounts into different categories, making them a lot easier to manage.
- Social Oomph: They’re a great option for agencies who are managing multiple Twitter accounts at once and need a streamlined service that can handle more than one task at once. From helping you with your tweets and uploading them at the right time to getting your team managing skills off the ground, Social Oomph wants to help you reach new heights with your brand online, and it will be there for you every step of the way.
- Hypegrowth: They claim to be able to save you up to five hours a day on your engagement, which we think is pretty impressive. We also think that this is most likely true, seen as we know just how time-consuming it can be to do your own Twitter engagement these days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Python is an interesting language which is used to program bots for different applications such as Twitter, Reddit, Discord etc and even for web and mobile applications.
Apply for a Twitter developer account, create a Twitter application, set up a development environment, link your Twitter app and the environment, program the bot, test the bot and voila you’re done!
To use twitter with Python you need your development environment to be linked with a Twitter application which is possible when you get access to keys and tokens after creating a Twitter developer account and interact with Twitter API using Tweepy.
To make a Twitter bot you can use Python and its open source package Tweepy that handles the Twitter API with ease.
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