This post is part of the Twitter Developer Platform’s Insider Blog Series. This series explores and highlights the innovations, creations, and contributions of the Twitter Developer Insiders, a group of passionate technologists who demonstrate outstanding leadership in advancing the Twitter API and a #buildwhatsnext mentality. Visit us here to learn more about the Insiders program and how to apply to become an Insider yourself.
Twitter is a lot of things to a lot of people, and to Developer Insider Redouane Bali, it’s a place to have fun. Redouane is originally from France and now lives in Algeria. His work is mostly oriented in E-Commerce, and although he doesn’t do much work in programming, he’s found ways to improve his and others’ experience on Twitter with the Twitter API. One of these ways is with his bot RedTheBot, a Twitter bot that does exactly what its bio suggests: tells jokes and analyzes Tweets.
Redouane has been a fan of Twitter for a long time, but had always found himself with questions about how the platform worked and what sort of things he could do with Twitter’s data. The Twitter API helped him answer these questions and discover new things about the platform and its mechanisms. With this newfound knowledge, he created RedTheBot, adding more and more features as he continued to play around with the Twitter API.
According to Redouane, some of the bots' most popular features are also its most fun and lighthearted ones. For instance, as its bio describes, the bot will tell a joke to anyone who asks publicly on Twitter to hear a joke. The bot can also “predict” what your future partner will look like. If someone asks the bot to tell them what their future husband or wife will look like, the bot will return with a randomly generated face for the curious person on Twitter. Redouane’s native language is French, so you’ll have to ask the bot these questions en français, or in French. Try telling the bot, “J’ai envie de rire” (“I want to laugh”) or “Divertissez-moi” (“Entertain me”) and the bot will tell you a joke. If you want to learn what your future husband or wife will look like, try asking “À quoi ressemblera ma femme?” (“What will my wife look like?”) or “À quoi ressemble mon homme?” (“What will my husband look like?”).
The bot also has some more practical uses––such as the ability to analyze Tweets with large amounts of likes. The bot looks at the accounts that the people who liked the Tweet follow and, using this information, ranks the ten most followed accounts from those who have liked the Tweet. This feature, Redouane explains, is especially useful in understanding the political alignment of a viral Tweet. To learn more about this feature, you can check out this article written by Redouane.
Redouane sees a lot of value in bots on Twitter. They are capable of seeing things humans are unable to see, he explains, like with the Tweet analyzation feature of RedTheBot. And, even more so than that, they’re a great way he’s found to bring joy and fun to the platform. This element of fun is important to Redouane; his advice for other developers just starting out with the Twitter API is to find something they have a good time building.
Redouane is interested in building out some new features for RedTheBot, particularly for people who are super following the account so they can receive premium features for their financial contribution. But he says there’s no specific roadmap for the future of the bot. He prefers to ask the bot’s followers what they’re interested in seeing, and build from their requests. If you have an idea for a new feature for RedTheBot, you can either send it a Direct Message or follow Redouane on Twitter and look out for a Tweet where he asks his followers what they want to see next from the bot.
RedTheBot is not Redouane’s only Twitter API project, though. He’s also built a Twitter API library for Java to help developers more easily get started with the Twitter API, which now has around 100 users. He’s also created a visualization of the followers of different French political figures, and where their followers overlap. He says although this tool is a bit outdated, it still is a great example of what the Twitter API can do.
With the Twitter API, Developer Insider Redouane Bali is building what makes him happy and brings joy to people on Twitter, unlocking one of the most important parts of any creative endeavor: fun.