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An easy (and up to date) way to access Twitter data with Python.

Project description

Twython is library providing an easy (and up-to-date) way to access Twitter data in Python


  • Query data for:
    • User information
    • Twitter lists
    • Timelines
    • User avatar URL
    • and anything found in the docs
  • Image Uploading!
    • Update user status with an image
    • Change user avatar
    • Change user background image


pip install twython

… or, you can clone the repo and install it the old fashioned way

git clone git://
cd twython
sudo python install


Authorization URL


from twython import Twython

t = Twython(app_key=app_key,
app_secret=app_secret, callback_url=’’)

auth_props = t.get_authentication_tokens()

oauth_token = auth_props[‘oauth_token’] oauth_token_secret = auth_props[‘oauth_token_secret’]

print ‘Connect to Twitter via: %s’ % auth_props[‘auth_url’]

Be sure you have a URL set up to handle the callback after the user has allowed your app to access their data, the callback can be used for storing their final OAuth Token and OAuth Token Secret in a database for use at a later date.

Handling the callback

oauth_token and oauth_token_secret come from the previous step
if needed, store those in a session variable or something
from twython import Twython

t = Twython(app_key=app_key,

auth_tokens = t.get_authorized_tokens()
print auth_tokens

Function definitions (i.e. getHomeTimeline()) can be found by reading over twython/

Getting a user home timeline

oauth_token and oauth_token_secret are the final tokens produced
from the `Handling the callback` step
from twython import Twython

t = Twython(app_key=app_key,

# Returns an dict of the user home timeline
print t.getHomeTimeline()

Get a user avatar url (no authentication needed)

from twython import Twython

t = Twython()
print t.getProfileImageUrl('ryanmcgrath', size='bigger')
print t.getProfileImageUrl('mikehelmick')

Streaming API

Usage is as follows; it’s designed to be open-ended enough that you can adapt it to higher-level (read: Twitter must give you access) streams.

from twython import Twython

def on_results(results):
    """A callback to handle passed results. Wheeee.

    print results{
    'username': 'your_username',
    'password': 'your_password',
    'track': 'python'
}, on_results)


  • As of Twython 2.0.0, we have changed routes for functions to abide by the Twitter Spring 2012 clean up Please make changes to your code accordingly.

Twython && Django

If you’re using Twython with Django, there’s a sample project showcasing OAuth and such [that can be found here]( Feel free to peruse!

Development of Twython (specifically, 1.3)

As of version 1.3, Twython has been extensively overhauled. Most API endpoint definitions are stored in a separate Python file, and the class itself catches calls to methods that match up in said table.

Certain functions require a bit more legwork, and get to stay in the main file, but for the most part it’s all abstracted out.

As of Twython 1.3, the syntax has changed a bit as well. Instead of Twython.core, there’s a main Twython class to import and use. If you need to catch exceptions, import those from twython as well.

Arguments to functions are now exact keyword matches for the Twitter API documentation - that means that whatever query parameter arguments you read on Twitter’s documentation ( gets mapped as a named argument to any Twitter function.

For example: the search API looks for arguments under the name “q”, so you pass q=”query_here” to search().

Doing this allows us to be incredibly flexible in querying the Twitter API, so changes to the API aren’t held up from you using them by this library.

Twython 3k

There’s an experimental version of Twython that’s made for Python 3k. This is currently not guaranteed to work in all situations, but it’s provided so that others can grab it and hack on it. If you choose to try it out, be aware of this.

OAuth is now working thanks to updates from [Hades]( You’ll need to grab his [Python 3 branch for python-oauth2]( to have it work, though.

Questions, Comments, etc?

My hope is that Twython is so simple that you’d never have to ask any questions, but if you feel the need to contact me for this (or other) reasons, you can hit me up at

You can also follow me on Twitter - @ryanmcgrath

Twython is released under an MIT License - see the LICENSE file for more information.

Want to help?

Twython is useful, but ultimately only as useful as the people using it (say that ten times fast!). If you’d like to help, write example code, contribute patches, document things on the wiki, tweet about it. Your help is always appreciated!

Special Thanks to…

This is a list of all those who have contributed code to Twython in some way, shape, or form. I think it’s exhaustive, but I could be wrong - if you think your name should be here and it’s not, please contact me and let me know (or just issue a pull request on GitHub, and leave a note about it so I can just accept it ;)).

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