Alvaro Aguirre

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Creating a simple Twitter bot with Python

Alvaro Aguirre - November, 2020

In this short post I will share how to create a simple Twitter bot using Python and the tweepy library. To give you an example, I will share how I created my Chord of the Day bot, which posts a tweet daily with a randomly generated guitar chord.

Getting started - Twitter for developers

You will not only need a Twitter account, but also register in Twitter Developers. This will provide you with an API key that will be necessary to establish the connection using tweepy.

So head to the page linked above, and apply for a developer account. You will have to provide some information. For example, I selected the option Making a bot when asked what my primary reason for using Twitter developer tools was. Then, you will have to select your country, choose a name for your account, and then fill some information about how you intend to use the developer account.

Once you have a developer account, you will have to create a Project or App. On your Developer Dashboard, you can select to Create an App, and then provide some details like name and description. Then, you should proceed to create the credentials. Now that your app is created, you should go into its Details, select the Keys and Tokens tab, where you can generate a set of keys. For your bot, you will need:

  • API Key
  • API Secret
  • Access token
  • Secret token

And make sure that the last two are generated using the Read and Write permissions (by default it will only be read, which will limit what your bot can do)

Once you have generated them, store them somewhere safe!


Now let’s get coding, although the tweepy library does so much that we don’t really have much to do. I will show you the very basics on how to post a simple tweet, but the library allows you to do anything you can think of (like, retweet, follow, etc).

First make sure you have tweepy installed:

pip install tweepy

You will also have to include the keys that we mentioned above.

import tweepy


# Authenticate to Twitter using the OAuthHandler method with your API key and secret
auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(api_key, api_secret)

# Set the tokens
auth.set_access_token(access_token, secret_token)

# Now use the API method to authenticate
api = tweepy.API(auth)

# We're ready! Now we can post a tweet using update_status()
api.update_status("Hello followers! I am tweeting from my terminal!")

Done! Your tweet will have been published! Now you can get creative and schedule the Python program to run at certain times and post whatever you want.