When tweeting, retweeting, or using third-party apps to gather data from Twitter, sometimes you may get an error message telling you that the rate limit is exceeded. So how do you fix it?
This error seems to be mainly on Twitter’s backend and has been patched before. If you’re experiencing this error with an app that you’re using, make sure that it is not making many requests for information from Twitter, as it will be blocked for spam.
I’ll take you through the reasons why this message shows up, as well as some common fixes and areas to check to prevent it from happening in the future.
Fixing Twitter Rate Limit Message Errors
One commonality to these messages seems to be the use of third-party apps like Tweeten and Tweetdeck.
From the backend point of view, Twitter itself limits you to make 180 calls every 15 minutes. If you’re developing APIs or other software to scrape data off Twitter, you’ll need to make sure that you’ll have to throttle your code or minimize the amount of API calls.
You can use the sleep command in your code to ensure it never exceeds the limit.
Another way is to look at API options to consider getting the maximum amount of data in the shortest amount of API calls, for example limiting yourself to querying 3,200 of a user’s most recent Tweets. You can check the rate limits as published by Twitter here.
The count command also allows you to specify the number of tweets to try and retrieve, meaning you can use approximately 16 API calls to capture 3,200 tweet statuses.
One way to stop this is to prevent too many different queries or calls on Twitter. If you have multiple apps, widgets, and other pieces of code constantly asking for status updates, follower updates, and the like, Twitter may think this is spam and limit the account.
The refresh button on Twitter can count as multiple calls, as it will refresh not only all tweets, but replies and direct messages as well.
You can try lowering the API percentage in the settings, by moving the Twitter API tab down to 60% or lower. While this means less updates, it’s very likely still going to capture everything without making you seem like a bot.
When you get the limit exceeded message, take that as a sign to get up, do some stretching or go for a walk and grab a coffee. The goal is to reset that timer by not making any queries at all, so try and close any open windows or apps that are connected to Twitter.
Another method is to reset your Twitter password through the website. While this may seem like a convoluted process just to reset a rate limit, many users have reported it being very successful if you cannot drop Twitter for any amount of time.
What Does Rate Limit Exceeded Mean?
Sometimes when tweeting or retweeting on Twitter, you’ll see a message that says ‘rate limit exceeded’. This message comes in various forms, such as ‘You have exceeded your Tweet limit. Try Retweet again tomorrow’.
People report getting these messages even when they haven’t tweeted or retweeted for days or weeks, and so suspect that it is not an issue with them but the Twitter service itself.
This issue has actually been occurring for years, as acknowledged by Twitter in a tweet back in August 2020. A follow-up tweet the same day claimed that the issue was fixed but there have been consistent reports from users of seeing the same message.
If you’re being rate limited on an action, this is another way of saying that you have tried an action too many times over a short period of time. To get around this, you will need to wait for this rate limit timer to expire.
Twitter hasn’t released exactly how long this timer is, and many suspect that it is randomized to prevent people from writing a script to circumvent this timer.
A blog from Twitter from 2008 is quite explicit in saying that they do limit the Twitter account and its link to the API at 100 API calls per hour, regardless of the third-party app used.
Twitter sets a limit on how many times it can be used in an hour. This limit applies to your Twitter account rather than the applications which make the calls to the API i.e. you have 100 API calls per hour in total regardless of which Twitter applications you use.