Make your first request to the Twitter API
This guide will walk you through some steps that you could follow to make your first request. This is a great resource to help you once you’ve signed up for a Twitter account.
If you are interested in using code samples, more technical guides, or a graphical tool like Postman, please consider using the following guides to make your first request:
- Step-by-step guide to making your first request to the Twitter API
- A quick start guide to making your first request to the post Tweet endpoint
- Getting started with Postman - best for beginners
- Twitter API v2 code samples
- Tweet lookup API reference
This guide assumes that you have collected your API key and secret, user Access Token and Secret, App Access Token, and have stored them in a secure location. You can learn how to do this by following the steps in the getting access to the Twitter API guide.
Step 1. Identify which endpoint you would like to use
The Twitter API allows you to perform a variety of different actions using code that you might be able to perform on the Twitter website or mobile application.
We have a complete list of the endpoints that are available via the API listed within our API Reference Index, but we recommend sticking to one of the following for simplicity’s sake:
Step 2. Choose a tool to make your request
While some requests can be straightforward, others can be tricky to build. That’s why the amazing community of developers have developed tools to abstract away some of the complexity.
The following are some recommended tools and details on how to use them:
Postman is a visual tool that you can use to make requests to REST endpoints. We’ve created some great materials around Postman to help you get started with and explore the different endpoints available via the Twitter API.
We recommend you read through our "Getting started with Postman" tutorial to learn how to add your keys and tokens and make your first request.
We’ve also produced a quick start guide for each of our Twitter API v2 endpoints, most of which use Postman. You can find these guides in each respective endpoint section, but here is a link to a few:
- Quick start: Post a Tweet
- Quick start: Search for Tweets
- Quick start: Lookup a user
If you prefer a more simple graphical tool, you should also consider using Insomnia.
If you are interested in using some simple code to make your request, we’ve put together sample code in multiple different languages for each of our Twitter API v2 endpoints.
You can find the code samples via our Github repo, Twitter-API-v2-sample-code, which also contains a README file that you can use to learn how to set up your credentials to properly work with the requests.
For example, here is a cURL example for the user lookup endpoint. All you have to do to use this request is replace the $ACCESS_TOKEN and $USERNAME with your App Access Token and Twitter handle. Then, copy and paste this code into your command line tool and press ‘Return’ or ‘Enter’.
curl "https://api.twitter.com/2/users/by/username/$USERNAME" -H "Authorization: Bearer $ACCESS_TOKEN"
The amazing TwitterDev community has also built libraries in a variety of different coding languages that can be used to make requests to the Twitter API.
We’ve built out a "Tools and libraries" page that lists all of the community libraries that we are aware of. Each library should have a ReadMe file that can be used to learn how to set up the repo on your machine and make your first request.
Step 3. Review the response
Once you’ve made a successful request, you will receive a payload with metadata related to the request.
If you used an endpoint that utilizes a GET HTTP method, you will receive metadata related to the resource (Tweet, user, List, Space, etc) that you made the request to in JSON format. Review the different fields that returned and see if you can map the information that you requested to the content on Twitter.
If you used an endpoint that utilizes a POST, PUT, or DELETE HTTP method, you performed an action on Twitter. Go to Twitter.com or the mobile app and see if you can track down that action.
Step 4. Adjust your request using parameters
Each endpoint has a different set of parameters that you can use to alter your request. For example, you can request additional metadata fields when using GET endpoints with the fields and expansions parameters. You can also experiment with a variety of different filtering tools with endpoints such as search Tweets, Tweet counts, and filtered stream to help narrow down the data you receive to just those Tweets that you are interested in.
You can find a full list of the request parameters and fields in the API Reference for the endpoint that you are working with, and a host of other helpful integration information in our integration guides and fundamentals pages.
You can learn more about all of the educational materials we’ve made available to you via our Important resources guide.