What happens if I hit a Twitter limit?

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I hit a Twitter limit; what does that mean, and what do I do?
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crystal

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  • curious

Posted 7 years ago

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how do i bump up the limit to follow more than 2000 people?
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happyches

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Can we request the limit be lifted on a case-by-case basis?
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Thomas

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That's called whitelisting, and is already possible.
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mdy

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I believe you can only follow more than 2000 people when you have 2000 people following you back.

Also, unless I've misunderstood, I believe that whitelisting is possible for third-party applications rather than for individual users. Whitelisting lifts the 100 requests per hour limit for the API... it doesn't actually allow you to follow more people. (Though I could be wrong about this)
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Thomas

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they whitelisted rick sanchez i believe
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mdy

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I was trying to remember why I had the impression that it was related to the API, and I finally found the documentation where I'd seen it described. It's on the Twitter API Wiki (link here).

The relevant excerpt reads: "If you are developing an application that requires more frequent requests to the Twitter API, please request whitelisting and we'll get back to you, usually within 48 hours or less." The link points to the same form that Chris linked to.

Also, around two months ago, Crystal posted a note in another GSFN thread (link here) saying that they now allow people to follow up to 2000, then from that point on, you can only follow more people when 2000 other users are following you back.

Once you have 2000 followers of your own, the number of people that you can follow is dependent on your following/follower ratio. That was the first time I'd heard of the 2000 limit, and the first time I'd heard of the ratio-based computation.

Perhaps they didn't have that follow-capping mechanism yet when ricksanchezcnn joined Twitter in July, and they were using the term whitelisting interchangeably with lifting the follow limit back then.

Anyway, I guess if someone applies for whitelisting using the form in the hopes that they can follow more people, they'll know soon enough whether or not it will work for them. 8-)
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HOW do I get whitelisted? I'm a journalist. I'm not selling ginsu knives, SEO secrets, or porn. Without being able to follow a many people on my beats as possible, Twitter's appeal becomes extremely limited to me.
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Thomas

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On your "beats"? Where do you live/write that you can find more than 2000 people to follow? I live in a major metro area with 3 million people and not even 1000 are on Twitter.
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Thomas

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Also, using the "follow" feature becomes pretty useless at 2000 people, as pages of text are scrolling by so fast you hit 'next page' and instead of seeing older posts, you see _newer ones_ than you were _just looking at_.
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Thomas

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You should just subscribe to their RSS feeds in Google Reader. It makes all those tweets searchable, archives them (so you can go beyond 100 pages or whatever the twitter limit is when you follow 2000 people), and marks the ones you've read as read.
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Thomas

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Using twitter.com to manage following 2000 people is just ridiculous, and people who claim they need to go beyond this already impossible to follow limit (even the creators of twitter don't go beyond 200 followers, e.g. biz, jack, ev, crystal) are either deluded about how easy it is to manage that information on the twitter website, or liars.
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Thomas

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In short, even though you can apply for whitelisting on the page that Chris Thomson linked 12 hours ago, or 11 hours before your "HOW do I get whitelisted?" post (good work, journalist!), as a comment to your previous post about following more than 2000 people, I don't think that it will do you any good unless you have some external API application which will make managing those tweets easier.
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Thomas, any reason you're so combative?

My Web site is http://www.rblevin.net if you're concerned about my credentials. I've covered IT for over 20 years. And I don't just "follow" people; I engage them.

And I have no problem following or interacting with 2000 people. That's one of the points of social media. It allows you to scale your personal network globally. I also have several hundred RSS feeds I track.

I don't use Twitter to read. That's for RSS. I use it to engage and build relationships with people who might become sources. And last I checked, the IT biz is a global beat, not a local one.

Please, chill out. Kick a ball, not me.

Thanks for pointing out where the answer is in this long thread.
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Thomas

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You don't have to follow someone to respond to them. I mean, look at Firefox Answers: http://twitter.com/firefox_answers he's following NOBODY, but he's helped thousands of people. I still think Google Reader is the better bet, I take the people I really want to read and put their feeds in there, so that not only can I read them, but I can search their old posts quickly. Twitter search only goes about 4 months back _at the most_, but Google Reader goes forever.
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No, but you do have to follow them to narrow your field of interest and squelch the noise. I'm personally not interested in what people had for dinner, but I am interested in reading what journalists, PR peeps, and IT peeps are talking about.
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Thomas

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However, by following more than 2000 people, you're adding more noise. PR people are especially noisy, because they know other people are noisy, and as they'd like to be on your front page they try to be noisier. Typically.
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It's not noise if it's on topic. Of the 1800 I now follow, probably no more than a few hundred, if that, actively update.

Besides, I'm used to information overload. My eyes and brain are scalable.
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Thomas

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So then why are you following people who have abandoned Twitter? If you unfollowed them that could help a lot.
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Is there any easy way to identify them and unfollow?
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Thomas

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Not through Twitter, sadly. There might be an external API application that does it. If you find it, post a link, it's a good idea.
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Twitter could benefit from some simple managment features. For example, a basic database report on following/followers that shows name, # tweets, date of last tweet, etc., and allows selection of groups for unfollowing, etc.
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howardgr

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Wow, I'm really surprised at the tone people are using to answer RB's very legit question. It is perfectly fine to follow that many people, no one is reading every tweet anyway.
RB - you might look at TweetDeck.com or PeopleBrowsr to help create an interface that let you manage the various twitter streams (@ you, Directs, and even searches). Hope that's helpful.
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Thomas

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It's not, actually. Spambots cause tons of load on the Twitter server because they follow thousands upon thousands of people, and the server has to populate their twitterstreams. Even accounts that don't tweet must be checked for new tweets. To waste resources is to waste resources. What would you think if I came to your house and just turned your sink on, and claimed that since I wasn't paying for it, it was ok? I just happen to like having your sink running. Wow, I'm really surprised at how angry you are at me running up your water bill.
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John Corey

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If people are looking for a browser based interface www.hahlo.com works well. I like how you can see the prior tweet right under the reply with a simple click. It is hard to keep the context when managing multiple conversations. I use Hahlo on my portable and my iPhone. No connection to the developer.
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Thanks Howardgr.
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howardgr

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So, Thomas, interesting from a fellow whose get satisfaction profile says "Dont' take me too seriously" - you're taking this situation too seriously.

RBLevin asked a question, and you've managed to put him down, insult PR people, journalists, people who 'can't possibly' follow more than 2000 people, and people who live in small towns.

Stop being so helpful here. Your water analogy doesn't, um, hold water.

Because of bad actors, we should all behave and use twitter the way you want us to?

It's more like - "well, no one could possibly read all the books in a library, we should limit them to 2000 only. Oh, maybe someone should burn the ones I don't want people to read too."
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Thomas

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Actually, that's a terrible analogy. It's like if a library limited you to borrowing 2000 books at a time. You can bring some back and borrow more. He can unfollow people he's not reading, and follow others.
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howardgr

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Yes, and I'm sure he does. However, you've stated his idea to follow people is ridiculous, so therefore, why should you pay attention to my analogy either? You can't manage to see other people's points of view. You insult people ad hominim. You're obviously trying to be helpful as you have a huge number of Get Satisfaction answers you've made, but perhaps you should try to answer the questions people ask, and not tell them how their brains work and how it is impossible for them to manage their social graph in any way other than the way you declare is not ridiculous.
I'm quite happy following >1200 people, and continue to follow more.
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Thomas

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Oh, now you've discredited yourself. You don't even know what "ad hominim" means. http://plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html
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howardgr

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Ok, you've got me. My entire argument falls because of this.

Instead, I should just call you out as the troll you are for saying that all PR people (I'm not one of them, by the way, but some of them are my clients and friends) are " especially noisy, because they know other people are noisy, and as they'd like to be on your front page they try to be noisier", and "Using twitter.com to manage following 2000 people is just ridiculous" and "Where do you live/write that you can find more than 2000 people to follow? I live in a major metro area with 3 million people and not even 1000 are on Twitter." As if you know any of those things as facts.

Please feel free to continue to comment on this thread until you are tired of it. I'm done. I'm going to follow as many people on Twitter as I can and drain the commons of API resources and I'm going to go turn on my water for you now.
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howardgr

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Ok, you've got me. My entire argument falls because of this.
I tried to give you some credit for trying to be helpful, even though in doing so you've managed to be insulting to others.
Please feel free to continue to comment on this argument until you are tired of it. I'm done.
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Thomas

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Looks like you tried to revise your comment from 8 minutes ago by making another one 7 minutes ago, because you noticed that I included the delimiter "typically" at the end of the post about PR people. They're not all bad, but if your goal is to get a message out there, and you're thinking your viewers won't go beyond the first page of tweets, you should keep tweeting. That's not a flaw on the side of the PR people, really, it's a flaw on Twitter's end that you can't process tweets and mark them as read or go in any kind of flow like you can with an e-mail client or RSS reader.

You're playing John Cleese from the Argument Clinic - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI... Not giving any reasons to follow 2000+ people, just saying that there are reasons.

I'm looking forward to watching your water faucet on UStream.tv
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Thomas

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Looks like you tried to revise your comment from 8 minutes ago by making another one 7 minutes ago, because you noticed that I included the delimiter "typically" at the end of the post about PR people. They're not all bad, but if your goal is to get a message out there, and you're thinking your viewers won't go beyond the first page of tweets, you should keep tweeting. That's not a flaw on the side of the PR people, really, it's a flaw on Twitter's end that you can't process tweets and mark them as read or go in any kind of flow like you can with an e-mail client or RSS reader.

You're playing John Cleese from the Argument Clinic - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI... Not giving any reasons to follow 2000+ people, just saying that there are reasons.
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micknyc

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One limit you mention is "70 API requests per hour." What is "API," esp as it applies to Twitter? I'm new to all of this and quite "green" re all-things-tech. Many thanks.
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howardgr

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API is an "application programming interface" - typically how computer programs talk to servers or to each other.
What it means for you is - if you were to use Twitter via a client software program, something like TweetDeck.com, you can only "ask" twitter for information and updates around one time per minute.

If you're just using twitter via the web or text messaging it is not something you'll have to pay attention to.
Good luck on Twitter. Whats' your twitter name so we can follow you?
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micknyc

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forgot to include my twitter name, as you suggested. it is mdraznin
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micknyc

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thanks for the quick answer. also happy you mentioned tweetdeck and other client programs. i've been testing out a few - twitterific, twitterberry and tweetdeck - in the hope of learning more and figuring out my real needs/preferences. (fyi, i find the UI on twitterific frustrating and clunky.) one Q about those: do actions i take, eg, favorite-ing, deleting, etc., on one client, automatically show up on the others?
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Thomas

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You find Twitterrific clunky? Try Twhirl. It redefined clunky.
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micknyc

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my mistake - i meant to write that i find twitterberry clunky, particularly in terms of UI. i'll keep what you wrote in mind before considering a test of Twhirl! thanks.
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WHITELISTING is not available to non-developers. Per Twitter:

RBLevin:

Thanks for requesting to be on Twitter's API whitelist.
Unfortunately, we've rejected your request.

Here's why:

Apologies, but whitelisting is only for developer use.

Please address the issues above and submit another request if appropriate.

Thanks for your interest and good luck!
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Thomas

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Did you even mention _why_ you were requesting it? If so, they should have told you how to make a proper request for whatever your problem is. However, if your only goal is to read what they have to say, and their accounts are public, I do not see how it is any different to follow them on the site versus subscribing to their twitter feed in an RSS reader. I see no difference at all.
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I got a message telling me I exceeded the hourly limit, maybe its down to refreshing but how can you have conversations with people if you are watching how often you refresh? 100 seems way too low.
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John Corey

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No problem for most people. You might be looking up profiles or something else.

If you use a Twitter client application you will not see the limit issue very often if at all. Itweet.net, hahlo.com are two that you can try. The only time I ran into limit issues was when using TweetDeck.
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John Corey

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No problem for most people. You might be looking up profiles or something else.

If you use a Twitter client application you will not see the limit issue very often if at all. Itweet.net, hahlo.com are two that you can try. The only time I ran into limit issues was when using TweetDeck.
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I was using the web, what about twhirl?
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I've been unable to follow anyone who's following me... usually if someone follows me, I will follow back. I have not been able to do so in the past few days. It's PISSING ME OFF. I want to be able to interact with people - start a conversation, share important information, etc.

So I'm moving my unsatisfied Twitter-butt over to http://www.tiseme.com
You can share whatever the hell you want and follow whomever you want - start a conversation and join in a conversation. The CEO even joins in on the conversation. It's all about customization and being involved with the users and making them happy. Why try to be a company with limits - I swear, once folks get BIG their attitudes change. Get with it - it's the users that drive your applications...dissatisfy your users and they will ultimately leave, slowly yet surely.
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John Corey

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You do not understand Twitter. 140 characters is mostly so people can use SMS on a phone.

The follow limit is only an issue when you are following a lot more than are following you.

You can easily have conversations with people who you are not following if you want to do so.

Reduce the number of people you follow who have no interest in following you. If they are not interested in following you it says something.
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Thomas

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John Corey, you have hit the nail on the head. "tise me" sounds exactly like what Elle wants, to be able to adverTISE to people. If they are not interested in being advertised to (but are too lazy to block, which I am sometimes when I get too lax) then they won't follow back.
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Elle, I agree with you because of the limits, I have now left twitter, I can't be bothered with their pathetic limits anymore
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Thomas - isn't that what Twitter is for? For individuals, businesses, products, services, etc to advertise - whether it be a short 140 character post of "what are you doing" given we post short urls that directs us to what we're reading or wanting to share? It's like DIGG on crack. My twitter followers follow me because I share information based on what I do for a living - the same information in which they are interested in based on finding me through twitter search or any of the other twitter apps or by an @ reply to someone they follow because of the conversation we're having... twitter has taken off like a speeding bullet train and i think they're finding it hard to control, monetize, etc... it's taken a life of its own thanks to mainstream media. Not everyone uses it for SMS purposes and the ones that do actually regulate who they follow so they won't get bombarded with messages. I however, shut those alerts off and don't use SMS -- I do however, create a rule in Outlook (email) for incoming twitter messages. I really think Twitter should cut the follow limits and put the task / responsibility on the users of who they want to follow and unfollow without it becoming some sort of political thing where it's pissing users off. They should focus on the real spammers - the ones that post the same message 24/7 like it's the red light district...
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rafi

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hey in just half a day i was suddenly mass un-followed on twitter.. about 30 people unfollowed me suddenly.. Can someone tell me why it happened?
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mdy

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There's a blogpost on Twitter's Status blog that talks about this. See this link for more info.