When I first got into Twitter and the APIs’ the platform has, I was looking for ways to maintain my account.
I started with the Advanced Search before deciding the write a collection of utilities to help me maintain my account.
The main tasks I wanted to do was:
- Find Tweeps with similar interests
- Bulk follow and unfollow (within reason and still adhering to Twitter ToS)
- Find inactive accounts
I wrote some scripts to do this and would run them in an ad-hoc fashion. At one point I put a simple Windows App on the front of the API to help me run these scripts.
I had this on my laptop for a while and a few weeks ago shared some Tweets and screenshots of the app for no other reason that I thought it was interesting. It turned out some others were interested in the tool!
After a few exchanges on Twitter I decided to tidy up the code a little, add better threading handling and publish it on a site called Gumroad. This was more of an experiment as I have an e-commerce widget on my blog but I had seen people in the tech community like Daniel Vassallo and Emma Bostian talk about Gumroad so thought I’d give it a go myself
It took a few days to sort out the code, but the first cut is ready. This isn’t a typical blog post and more of a user guide for the tool.
Massive thanks to those who’ve bought the tool.
Before using the tool, you need to exercise caution and not aggressively bulk follow, or bulk unfollow users. If you do this, you may get temporarily restricted for a few days. Do this at your own risk. I would recommend no more than 100-200 actions like that per 24-48 hours.
Now on with the rest of the guide.
Setup and Configuration
Before using the tool, you need to Twitter Developer Account. You can get this by browsing to https://developer.twitter.com. When you login you need to create an app. There are guides on the Twitter Developer Portal, but it only takes about 20 mins. After your account has been verified, you can then generate the following keys:
- Consumer Key
- Consumer Secret
- Access Token
- Access Token Secret
When you have those, simply copy and paste them into the app.config file sections you can see here:
<add key="ConsumerKey" value="HERE" /> <add key="ConsumerSecret" value=" HERE " /> <add key="AccessToken" value=" HERE " /> <add key="AccessTokenSecret" value="HERE" />
There are two other settings:
These live in the following settings
<add key="safeList" value=" Assets\SafeList.csv" /> <add key="username" value="jamie_maguire1" />
The Safe List is a list of accounts that you want to exclude from certain things like Bulk Unfollow. This value must contain the full path to the CSV file.
The username is your Twitter username. These get used in various bits of functionality you’ll find in each tab of the application. This brings us onto…..
The app has 4 tabs with each housing various maintenance functionality.
- Follower Finder
- Follower Clean up
- Safe List
- Find Inactive
Within each tab, you will find some common buttons and functionality that are specific to each tab.
If the grid is populated with Tweeps and you have selected at least one account, you can use the following functionality:
- Follow These Users – will follow selected users
- Unfollow – will unfollow selected users
- Add to Safe List – adds selected users to your safe list
- Add Selection to List – will add selected users to a List you pick (if you use Twitter Lists)
- Export – will export selected user account details to csv
Some or all these features are found in each tab.
This is divided into 4 main sections with a clickable grid. The textbox with my handle (jamie_maguire1) is where you supply one or more usernames (comma delimited). After supplying usernames, you can click the buttons
- Get Followers
- Get Who They Are Following.
This returns all people that person is following. These are then displayed in the grid. There can be a few moments delay whilst the accounts information is fetched.
Get Who they are Following
The other thing you can do is to get “who those people are following”. This can be helpful if there is someone that you follow, and you think their connections may share similar interests to you. You can click this, and those tweeps will be displayed in the grid.
Find Users with these keywords in their Bio
Finally, the third search you can perform is to find a user with specific keywords in their bio. This can be helpful to find people by topic or interests they have in their bio such as #Azure.
After the grid is populated, you can then use the following controls:
Follower Clean up and Find Users not following back
Sometimes you want to know who isn’t following you back. You can do this here by clicking Find Users Not Following Back.
You also have an option of “ignoring safe list Tweeps”. These may be influencers or mainstream companies. Checking this checkbox will prevent these accounts from being surfaced in the grid.
This can be useful if you bulk unfollow people but not unfollow influencers or companies that are important to you.
You select multiple records and then use the common features such as “Unfollow” or “Add Selection to List”
This simply gives you a visual grid of all Tweeps that are in your current safe list file:
Here you can identify Tweeps that haven’t sent a Tweet within a given amount of days. Key in the value then click Find Inactive. A list of Tweeps is returned.
You can then choose to bulk Unfollow by selecting 1 or more rows from the grid and clicking UnFollow.
So, there you have it, an introduction to the Tweeps Management Tool and it’s history.
Will this make me millions? Probably not! It’s been a good learning exercise.
Gumroad makes it easy for content creators to quickly get a product or service online. I setup the Gumroad pre-order screen from my mobile phone. I had no access to my laptop at the time. I took the graphics from one of my earlier Tweets and had it online in minutes.
If you’re reading this and would like a copy of the tool you can do this by clicking the button below:
If you already have the tool and have ideas for new features then contact me directly.
Thanks for reading!