How to Set Up a Twitter Developer Account

Setting up a Twitter Developer Account

Dylan | Oct 21, 2019

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Twitter has a powerful API that enables developers to automate many important tasks. API stands for “Application Programming Interface”, which is essentially a bunch of operations that developers can use on a platform.

Some examples of what you can do with Twitter’s API are automatically Tweeting, sending direct messages to users, and querying specific tweets by content, hashtags, or author. I first used the API in my machine learning project that predicts whether a new Tweet was authored by Donald Trump or Barrack Obama!

In this post, we’ll run through how to create a developer account to be able to access Twitter’s powerful API.

Applying for Access

You can apply for a developer account here. Click the purple button that says, Apply for a Developer Account. If you already have a Twitter account, you can sign in using your existing credentials. If you don’t currently have a Twitter account, go ahead and sign up using the link on this page.

Once you’ve successfully logged into your account, you’ll be prompted to answer the following question.

What is your reason for using Twitter developer tools?

Choose between the following four categories: Professional, Hobbyist, Academic, or Other. If you’re just looking to play around with Twitter’s API to see what’s possible, just choose the Hobbyist Exploring the API path.

User Verification

You’ll have to verify the Twitter account you’re currently logged into is yours. You’ll need to add a phone number to your account and be prepared to enter a code sent to you via SMS.

Next, you’ll be prompted to enter the country you live in and a username for your developer account.

Intended Use

The next step is the hardest part but don’t worry, we’ll get through it together! You’ll be prompted to write what you intend to use the Twitter API for. Twitter wants to ensure you’re not planning to violate any usage restrictions.

Some restricted uses are using Twitter data to derive or infer potentially sensitive characterists about Twitter users such as:

  • Health (including pregnancy)
  • Negative financial status or condition
  • Political affiliation or beliefs
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Religious or philosophical affiliation or beliefs
  • Sex life or sexual orientation
  • Trade union membership
  • Alleged or actual commission of a crime

To prevent bots from flooding your Twitter notifications, they also prohibit sending automated messages, bulk following, posting identical or substantially similar content across multiple accounts.

There are many other restricted use cases that you should familiarize yourself with here.

Twitter has additional rules and policies in regard to automation thoroughly covered on their website here.

Review and Terms

We’re almost to the end! Twitter will prompt us to review some of the information we’ve entered just to confirm everything is correct. Finally, we’ll be asked to review and accept Twitter’s Developer Agreement.

The next step is to wait. After Twitter reviews our application to ensure we don’t intend to violate their terms, we will receive an email. If the Twitter review team is missing any information, they may contact you for further inquiries via email. You’re almost ready to start using Twitter’s API!

Keep an eye out for an upcoming post on Nimble Coding introducing Tweepy. Tweepy is a popular Python library for conveniently interacting with Twitter’s API.