knitr::opts_chunk$set( echo = TRUE, eval = FALSE, comment = "#>", collapse = TRUE)
This vignette covers how to obtain and use Twitter API access tokens
for use in the
# install from CRAN install.packages("rtweet") # load rtweet library(rtweet)
Creating a Twitter App
- To create a Twitter app, navigate to apps.twitter.com
and create a new app by providing a
Websiteof your choosing (example screenshot provided below).
- Important In the
Callback URLfield, make sure to enter the following:
- Check yes if you agree and then click "Create your Twitter application".
- Once you've successfully created an app, click the tab labeled
Keys and Access Tokensto retrieve your consumer (api) and secret keys.
To create a personal access token, users must provide their
Consumer Key(aka "API Key") and
Consumer Secret(aka "API Secret").
I've highlighted the keys in the screen shot below.
Copy and paste these keys into an R script file and assign them to objects like I've done in the code below.
Once the keys are read into R, use
create_token()and store the output as
## whatever name you assigned to your created app appname <- "rtweet_token" ## api key (example below is not a real key) key <- "XYznzPFOFZR2a39FwWKN1Jp41" ## api secret (example below is not a real key) secret <- "CtkGEWmSevZqJuKl6HHrBxbCybxI1xGLqrD5ynPd9jG0SoHZbD" ## create token named "twitter_token" twitter_token <- create_token( app = appname, consumer_key = key, consumer_secret = secret)
NOTE: Following the steps outlined above, it's possible to create multiple Twitter apps, resulting in multiple tokens. Twitter discourages abusing their API rate limits (these are like speed limits, regulating the amount of requests you can make within a given period of time). Abusing Twitter rate limits can even result in Twitter completely revoking your API access. However, Twitter does allow users multiple tokens so long as each token is used for a unique purpose..
At this point, you technically have enough to start using
rtweetfunctions---you'd just need to set the
tokenargument equal to
twitter_token(the token object we just created).
Rather than creating a token every time you open R, remembering where you saved your token(s) or passwords, and specifying a token every time you use a function, users are encouraged to save tokens as an environment variable.
To save a personal access token as an environment variable, save the
twitter_tokenobject created earlier in your computer's home directory (to locate your home directory, you can enter
normalizePath("~/")into your R console, or follow the directions below for what I think is the easiest method).
twitter_tokento your home directory. The code below should locate and construct the path to your home directory for you. Assuming you've saved your token as
twitter_token, the final line in the code below will save your token for you as well.
## path of home directory home_directory <- path.expand("~/") ## combine with name for token file_name <- file.path(home_directory, "twitter_token.rds") ## save token to home directory saveRDS(twitter_token, file = file_name)
- The last step is to create an environment variable that points to the saved twitter token. This makes sure that the token will be read and available to use every time you start R.
Create a plain text file containing the path to your token object and save it to your home directory as ".Renviron".
To create a plain text file in R, modify the code below. Change
TWITTER_PATlocation to match the path you used earlier (in the example below, you'd want to change "/Users/mwk/twitter_token.rds"). You can also create a plain text document in any text editor like TextEdit or Notepad. If you're using Rstudio, select File > New File > Text File.
Important: Make sure the last line of ".Renviron" is blank. I achieved this in the code below by including
fill = TRUEin the
## On my mac, the .Renviron text looks like this: ## TWITTER_PAT=/Users/mwk/twitter_token.rds ## assuming you followed the procodures to create "file_name" ## from the previous code chunk, then the code below should ## create and save your environment variable. cat(paste0("TWITTER_PAT=", file_name), file = file.path(home_directory, ".Renviron"), append = TRUE)
Restart R so it can process the environment variable.
If you completed the steps successfully, you should be able to use
rtweetfunctions without specifying [or even thinking about] tokens [ever again].