Rate limiting in the Twitter v1.1 API

Twitter’s new v1.1 API imposes limits on the number of requests that users can make. The limits are detailed at https://dev.twitter.com/docs/rate-limiting/1.1/limits. OSX apps need to be aware of these limits and ensure that users cannot make more requests than they are allocated. Twitter states

“We ask that you honor the rate limit. If you or your application abuses the rate limits we will blacklist it. If you are blacklisted you will be unable to get a response from the Twitter API”

Before making a twitter request I check that the rate limit has not been exceeded. I do this using a requestTwitterStatus method as follows:

-(void) requestTwitterStatus{
NSURL *statusURL = [NSURL URLWithString:@"https://api.twitter.com/1.1/application/rate_limit_status.json?resources=help,users,search,statuses"];
statusRequest = [NSMutableURLRequest requestWithURL:statusURL];
[statusRequest addValue:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"Bearer %@",bearerToken] forHTTPHeaderField:@"Authorization"];
[statusRequest setHTTPMethod:@"GET"];
statusConnection = [[NSURLConnection alloc] initWithRequest:statusRequest delegate:self startImmediately:YES];

Here the app’s bearer token is the Authorization token obtained from twitter (see my previous post for details of how to obtain this). The connectionDidFinishLoading method detects when the request has finished. The data obtained is then parsed within connectionDidFinishLoading with the following code (receivedData is the data that the getTweetsConnection has provided and is collected in the connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didReceiveData:(NSData *)data method);

if (connection == statusConnection) {
NSString *twitterStatus = [[NSString alloc] initWithBytes:[statusData bytes] length:[statusData length] encoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];
NSDictionary *statusResults = [twitterStatus JSONValue];
NSDictionary *statusDict = [statusResults valueForKey:@"resources"];
NSDictionary *searchStatusDict = [statusDict valueForKey:@"search"];
NSDictionary *searchDict = [searchStatusDict valueForKey:@"/search/tweets"];
requestsRemaining = [[searchDict valueForKey:@"remaining"] intValue];
NSLog(@"requestsRemaining = %d\n", requestsRemaining);
if (requestsRemaining > 0) {
// go ahead and make a request to twitter
} else{
NSLog(@"You have reached twitter's request limit. Please wait 15 minutes before requesting again");
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