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This chapter is from the book



  1. What is meant by thinking about Twitter as a type of database?
  2. I check my Twitter account only a few days a week on my iPhone. What kind of Twitter user am I?
  3. Is it illegal to create bots?
  4. What is the easiest type of Twitter application to create?

Quiz Answers

  1. This is a two-part answer: 1) Although Twitter exposes everything, you still can only get detail data on users one at a time although this is changing. Thus, thinking about accessing user statistics as if you were accessing a database is a useful way to think about what you can do with Twitter. 2) If you have control over the Twitter account(s), you can use the fields in Twitter to store information instead of on your database.
  2. You are a news reader. Even if you are reading only your timeline (people you follow), you are more of a consumer of information than a creator.
  3. No—and not all bots are bad. However, the good folks at Twitter do actively look for automated procesess that abuse the system.
  4. A pure chat widget.


  1. Describe your typical target user and then determine the class of application you feel is appropriate for your user.
  2. If you plan to create an automated process, write down each step and then count the number of times you will need to call Twitter to get information. What happens if the user hits refresh 10 times in 10 minutes? Will you go over the 150-API call limit if they are not logged in?
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