Twitter API Changes & You

Recently, we’ve noticed errors appearing on sites using the Jetpack plugin’s Twitter widget, as well as issues with any other widgets offering the display of Twitter feeds.

Concerned about this, we dug into the issue – after all, error messages are a bad thing. Unfortunately, we don’t have good news to report. Twitter recently made some changes to how they allow outside services to communicate with their servers to post and read tweet information – these activities are now more strictly rate limited than they were previously. Currently, the rate limit is 150 per IP per hour.

You can see the problem, can’t you? We’ve got a minimum of 80 sites currently displaying Twitter feeds – if someone posts a new blog post which gets a surge of traffic, we pretty easily hit that 150/IP/hour limit. Not good!

Currently, we don’t have a good solution to this problem, but it’s something we’re actively working on. We’ve got more IPs available to us, and we may be redistributing sites among them soon to hopefully limit our chances of tripping the request limit. We’re also actively monitoring Twitter widget development to find plugins that manage to find ways (caching, most likely) to help minimize this issue – when we find a better solution, we’ll be sure to let you know!

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