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Connecting to Twitter with R and RStudio

Social Media and Analytics is always an interesting combination. Twitter has an API that you can so you can connect to  using R and RStudio (and a whole bunch of other languages too) to analyse twitter data.

In this post we will simply look at how we go about connecting to twitter with R and Studio

Assuming you R and R Studio downloaded and installed

You need a Developer Account

Well actually, first up you'll need a twitter account. I'll assume that you have one. If you don't head over to twitter and signup. 

With your twitter account setup the first things first you need to do is create an application in twitter get  access to the Twitter API. This is a simple process. To do this you need to visit signing with your twitter account if you haven't done so already . When you have signed in, click on the create APP button.  

You will see a form called Create an Application. You will need to provide some application details:
  • Name - give your app a name
  • Description - describe the application
  • URL - this can be anything. I used my blog URL
  • Call back URL - I didn't provide this
The first three in the list are mandatory the callback url in optional.

Create a twitter application

Install TwitteR

This is great package for working with Twitter and the Twitter API. You need to install from the CRAN repository. Allow all  the dependant packages to be installed too.

Install twitteR Application
With twitteR installed the next you need to do is connect using R. To do this you need generate some access key from the twitter application that we created above. Go to the application and click on the the Key and Access Token

Access token and secret

API key and secret

The next step is to open up a new session in R Studio. The following code loads the TwitteR and DevTools packages and authenticates using your application keys

#Load libraries

#Authenticate with twitter
api_key <- font="" your_api_key_here="">
api_secret <- font="" your_api_secret_here="">
access_token <- font="" your_access_token_here="">
access_token_secret <- font="" your_access_token_here="">

Then You can use the twitteR package to work with Twitter. The following updates your status. We will look at what else we can do with this package in a later post.

updateStatus("Another Morning of #R...#RStudio and twitteR")

Here's my tweet from RStudio

My tweet from Studio

R and twitteR can be a really useful combination in analysing your twitter feed. We'll look at a practical use for this in a later post.


  1. Hi!
    Thanks for the explanation! I've followed the steps and succeded to post in Twitter from RStudio! I'm waiting for the next post.
    just a detail: for an absolute newbie like me, the syntax of the variable assignation would be clearer if listed like:
    api_key <- "XXXXXX"
    Thanks again and greetings from Argentina


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