Count limits lifted

We have removed the cap on the total number of friends and followers, so you can now try to analyze any Twitter user on Twitual. We will warn you, however, that with very large friend + follower counts, the process of fetching all of the information can be slow. To give you a general idea, some recent tests were taking about 3 minutes to analyze a user with 10,000 combined friends and followers. Obviously, this makes it pretty impractical to analyze highly networked users like @wilw or @mashable (who each have over 200,000 followers).

The reason it takes so long is that the Twitter API only allows us to fetch 100 entries at a time. There are API calls to return all of the friend/follower IDs for a user at once, but they only return numeric IDs, not the screen name, which is far more useful for display. So we either need to find a way to fetch multiple batches of information in parallel, or we need to mirror the entire database of Twitter IDs and screen_names on our own server. Or maybe both. Even better would be a new API call to fetch all the screen names, but that’s not our call.

And, we realize that there is currently no feedback in the browser while Twitual is doing its thing. We’re going to be working on that, and hopefully when we’re done, we’ll have some spiffy whiz-bang progress bars to let you know what’s going on, and how close we are to being done with your request. Just don’t expect it to happen overnight — we’ll have to take our current, simple, no-nonsense code and transmogrify it into a bunch of complex, full-of-nonsense code. Those kinds of things take time!

In the meantime, we still think Twitual is a pretty nifty tool, and we hope you do, too. If you agree, keep spreading the word about us. Let us feel the love, we’re needy that way!

2 thoughts on “Count limits lifted

  1. Brent

    I know you posted this blog entry a year ago, but I tried to use Twitual and it told me that I have too many friends/followers and that there is a 3,000 person limit.

    Hope you guys get this fixed soon…friendorfollow is having issues of its own.

    Reply
    1. dougal Post author

      Yes, I had to reinstate the limits due to service performance issues. I’ve been (slowly) working on some improvements that I hope will allow me to raise or even eliminate the limits, as well as make the site friendlier to use. It’s just been hard to find time to work on it, since this is an unsponsored personal project.

      Reply

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