Twitter Developer Feedback

Twitter for Academic Research

As we plan for the future of our developer platform we want to learn more from our academic community. What tools and resources would make it easier for you to conduct research with Twitter data, and what should we consider building?

  1. See what other ideas have been submitted and vote for ideas you like.
  2. If you have an idea that isn't already listed, create a new post.
  3. Include only one idea per post.

To start, we have added in a few ideas that have been suggested by developers in the past. Please vote or comment on those, if they reflect your own vision.

Thank you for participating!


  1. Consider Different Automated Account Regulation for Academics Running Studies with Bost

    Bot-based research is an important frontier in several different academic fields, but post requests are often censored or accounts associated with such posts are often suspended-- even if they do not seem to violate Twitter's automated account policies. Perhaps there could be a mechanism where academics could petition twitter not to censor bots that are being used for academic research (assuming, very importantly, that they have been carefully vetted by IRB and/or ethics officers within Twitter)?

    5 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Twitter Trends API

    Many common research use-cases would be greatly facilitated by an API that could return summary level information. For instance, for any subset of tweets based on a particular query term(s) and period:


    • hourly/daily/weekly counts of matching tweets


    • histogram data of top hashtags / handles referenced / links shared


    • proportion of retweets / replies / first posts


    • proportion of dataset generated by top n contributors


    These would be very valuable from a purely research perspective, but presumably they present considerable challenges for implementation. But a methodology similar to Google Trends might be possible.

    10 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  1 comment  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Advertisement API

    Access data about ads, reach, accounts promoted by, engagements.

    6 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  2 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Graph queries for Twitter

    I (and hundreds of other academics) spend a lot of time grabbing tweets and making graphs/networks out of them using things like Neo4j & Cytoscape or Gephi. It would be nice if we could do graph queries directly & it would probably lower some of the query demand on Twitter, if we didn't have to grab all the data to make the graphs ourselves.

    6 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Require Statement of Ethics from Academics

    Academic researchers should have to submit a statement of ethics declaring their work with Twitter data will not be harmful to oppressed and marginalized people, who are disproportionately harmed by unethical data research practices. Twitter should also make the statements available to the wider community so other folks can learn from them or get ideas for modeling their own statements.

    26 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  1 comment  ·  General features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Twitter Archive Download

    At the moment there appear to be two archive downloads. One from the Account page and another from the Your Twitter Data page. The first comes as a zip file with a nice index.html viewer. The second includes a lot more data but lacks a viewer. It would be useful if these options were combined into a single archive download that contains a usable viewer for the complete data.

    This is important for archives that would like to accept snapshots of user's social media content for preservation and research.

    22 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  2 comments  ·  General features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. A more transparent application process, with the option for appeal

    Currently, the Twitter Developer application process can result in an application being rejected without explanation, with no option for appeal or reapplication from the same Twitter account. Being more transparent about the reasons for rejection, as well as allowing people to appeal or reapply, is likely to lead to more clarity on the actual rules of the Twitter Developer application process as well as healthier community engagement.

    19 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  1 comment  ·  General features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Add an API to retrieve Tweet threads

    I request the Twitter to allow access to all the replies of a tweet (all the conversations of a thread). It would be very useful for academics working in user behavior analysis, argumentation mining, hate speech detection because comment or reply reflects the actual thought process of a replying user.

    46 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  4 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Add accurate data on Replies and Likes to the Search API

    In the current search API, the only form of engagement for which scholars currently get accurate metadata is RTs. There is no metadata field for Replies and the field for Likes does not return the number of times a tweet has been liked by other users. This information would be very valuable for academics, especially considering that the use of the "Like" button by users has increased substantially.

    23 votes
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    1 comment  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. Offer a limited number of free survey invitations

    Twitter has a useful survey feature that users can pay for to invite users to complete surveys. It would be very helpful if Twitter could offer a limited number of free survey invitations to academics. Academics could apply by preparing the survey and specifying the kinds of samples they would like to invite, as well as outlining the rationale for the study.

    8 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  Additional data types  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. Document the filtering rules for the search API

    The freely available search API would be a great tool for research, but given that not all tweets are included (even in the ~7 day window), it can rule out certain types of studies, because it is not clear whether or how the search indexing rules might bias the sample.

    To address this for academic research it would be great if the rules and approach for what is not indexed and why it is not indexed were clearly documented in a way that researchers could make decisions about appropriateness for their work.

    7 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  Documentation & Resources  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. New endpoint for detecting whether tweets are still live

    If you have a large collection of tweets it can be unwieldy to use the API to detect which tweets have been deleted - beyond complying with Twitter's own terms of service this is also necessary to respect a users agency over their own content. When a tweet or tweets are no longer available can also have an impact on what and how the results of academic research can be reported.

    When sharing a dataset of tweet ids, you can also spend a lot of time trying to hydrate tweets that have mostly been deleted.

    It would significantly simplify this…

    17 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  4 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Give access to the search query log

    Important data to understand user intentions and information needs.

    19 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  3 comments  ·  Additional data types  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Retrieve random tweet from the index (new API call)

    Deploy a new API call to retrieve a random tweet from the index. Would be an important asset for characterization studies.

    8 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  3 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Raise Rate Limits For Academics

    Academics should not be burdened with the same rate limits as those who access the APIs for commercial means. Lifting these rate limits would significantly increase the rate at which data could be gathered, creating cost and time efficiencies for those using Twitter data in their research.

    75 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  1 comment  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Extend Historical Data For Academics

    Academics should receive increased access (beyond seven days) to historical data. The seven-day limitation severely limits academic inquiry and is a primary driver behind extravagant costs for those using Twitter data in their research.

    118 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  12 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Informed Consent API

    Implement an API / Bulk access call to notify users that their tweets were / are used in a study, with the option to opt-out, or opt-in to more information from the researcher. Maybe a DM with links to IRB / Home Institution / Researcher contact details?

    Ideally, i'd like to notify and ask permission from people - in the past, i've implemented this as a Twitter list, adding people to give them some notification - but this doesn't give people an easy opt-out.

    Given the number of times data is used, maybe an equivalent to the list of advertisers…

    40 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  5 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Predefined datasets

    I'd like access to predefined datasets that provide ideas for my research and make it easy to get started.

    20 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  3 comments  ·  APIs & Tools  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. Topic annotations

    The data available in the API would be more valuable if there were additional signals about the topics a Tweet is about.

    5 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  Additional data types  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Guidance on building a proper filter

    I would like guidance on how to design a proper filter, rule or query to collect the data I need around a topic, trend or event.

    2 votes
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    acknowledged  ·  0 comments  ·  Documentation & Resources  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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