How to create a Twitter app

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So you decided to make your first Twitter bot, congratulations!

Before you can start writing any code, you will need something called API keys. These will let you make API calls, or in other words, interact with the data on Twitter's website.

To get your API keys, you need to first create a Twitter app.

Let's start by signing up for a new Twitter account, which will be controlled by our new bot. We also need to add a phone number to our account. (You will get an error at the next step if you don't do this.)

Note: You can sign up for Google Voice (Skype number won't work, because Skype doesn't let you receive text messages, which you will need to verify your phone number).

If you are already using your phone number with a different Twitter account, you should be able to remove it, and add it to your new bot account.

The "proper" way to handle multiple bot accounts is to transfer the API keys to your new account, but this is done manually by Twitter's staff, and can take from several hours to a few days.

Furthemore, lately I seem to be always forced to verify my phone number every time I make a new bot anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Once you have your phone number verified, go to apps.twitter.com and click the Create a New App button.

After that, fill in some basic information about your new app. You can leave the Callback URL field empty.

New Twitter app

Once you do that, switch to the Keys and Access Tokens tab. Under Application Settings, make sure that it says Read and write for your app's Access level.

We are going to need four things from this page:

  • Consumer Key
  • Consumer Secret
  • Access Token
  • Access Token Secret

(You need to click the button in the Your Access Token section to generate the last two.)

Also, if necessary, change the permissions to allow access to DMs. (You will need to re-generate your tokens after changing permissions.)

Permissions

There you go, these are the magical API keys you are going to need to breathe life into your shiny new bot.

Now, go check out some Twitter bot tutorials -- and be sure to share your creations with the Botmakers community!

Last updated on May 20, 2016.

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