Twitter Rate Limit

Jun 12, 2014 at 6:11 AM
I know there have been a lot of posts about this which I did take a look at but sorry in advance if I missed a relevant one.

I have a problem with Twitter rate limiting where it doesnt seem to be being applied according to my understanding of the API guidelines.

I am trying to do an Import from Twitter Users Network, using a 1.5 Levels to Include a vertex for People Following the user and an edge Followed/Following relationship.

As I understand it the API allows for up to 200 Followers to be returned per call and there is a limit of 1 call per minute. What I am actually experiencing is that I seem to be being limited to 5 Followers per 15 minutes.

Can someone explain where I am going wrong? The target I am trying to analyse has 79000 followers which should in theory take a few hours, at the rate im getting though it is going to take a few weeks!


Jun 12, 2014 at 7:03 AM
Edited Jun 12, 2014 at 7:04 AM
Hello, Pat:

NodeXL uses Twitter's "GET friends/ids" API to get one block of 5,000 IDs for one user's followers. That API can be called once per minute. Thus, NodeXL can get one block of followers for approximately 60 users per hour. If you uncheck the "Limit to" box, it might make multiple calls per user, so the performance will be even worse. (There is a "Limit to" box, right? I ask because you're using an old version that I don't have in front of me.)

If your target has 79,000 followers and you request a 1.5-degree network, then NodeXL has to get the followers for 79,001 users. That will take roughly two months.

In the latest version of NodeXL, the Twitter dialog boxes strongly discourage you from requesting follow relationships. In all but the smallest networks, Twitter rate limits make this intolerably slow.

-- Tony
Jun 12, 2014 at 7:16 AM
Edited Jun 12, 2014 at 7:16 AM
Thanks for the quick response Tony even though its not the answer I was hoping for :)

If that is the case could you please tell me what defines the the "Limit to x Followers" function?

IE my target has 79000 followers and I set the limit to 250, what defines which 250 results are returned? Ideally I would like the 250 followers with the most followers themselves but I suspect im not that lucky.


Jun 12, 2014 at 4:26 PM
When you tell NodeXL to limit the results to 250 users, you'll get the most recent 250 followers of each user in your network, including your target. No ranking by follower count occurs.

Double whammy.

-- Tony