50 Twitter Tools and Tutorials For Designers and Developers

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Twitter appears on innumerable personal and professional websites nowadays, whether it is a simple “Follow me” badge in the header or a display of the author’s latest tweets in the sidebar. No longer a fad, Twitter is now a necessity for every website, not just for sharing your thoughts and keeping in touch with people, but also for marketing, advertising and even searching. But you may be wondering, How can I make Twitter work the way I want on my website?

Below, we present Twitter Web Designer and Developer Toolbox, API and Tutorials, a series of tutorials, links, references, libraries and plug-ins that will help you do everything you’ve always wanted to do with Twitter.

Twitter Development Links

Twitter Web App

Twitter Technology Blog1
If you’re writing an application for the Twitter API or just curious about the code, tools and practices, this blog has something for you.

Twitter API Wiki home page2
Download the Twitter API here, and it’s also a great reference for developers.

Twitter API Announcements – Google Groups3
This website is updated only when changes to the Twitter API are released or there is a pending release.

Twitter Development Talk – Google Groups4
Discussion about the development and use of the Twitter API

Follow Twitter Development via Twitter5
Keep up to date with all news via Twitter.

Introduction to the Twitter API

Twitter Web App

Twitter API for Dummies6
This is an easy-to-follow tutorial with several examples based on different Web technologies. It has just enough for you to start your own Twitter project.

Using the Twitter API7
This is an excellent introduction to using the Twitter API. The API offers many different ways to connect to your details including XML, JSON, Atom and RSS. This tutorial uses XML, PHP and cURL.

Get Started With the Twitter API8
If you’re looking to try out an API for the first time, Twitter’s is a great one to start with. Its API is simple and easy to use. The only thing to keep in mind is that Twitter limits you to 70 requests per 60-minute intervals, so remember to cache or otherwise store your results.

Getting Started with the Twitter API9
Twitter’s API lets you read and write Twitter messages with minimal coding in nearly any programming language. In fact, you can use this API without doing any programming. A slightly more advanced tutorial than the previous three.

Building Your Website Around Twitter

Build Your Own Social Home!10
Many of us have not only our own websites, but also Twitter, Flickr, ScrnShots and Facebook accounts, too. This tutorial brings all of these together neatly on one page.

Twitter Web App11

How to Create an RSS-Enabled Micro-Blog with Twitter12
Have you ever wanted to create a simple multi-person blog but didn’t want to bother setting up an entire WordPress installation? If so, this tutorial is for you. By combining Twitter Search, Atom feeds, hash-tags and PHP, you can create an RSS-enabled, micro-blog using Twitter and be up and running in less than 10 minutes.

Twitter Web App13

How to Make a Unique Website for Your Twitter Updates14
Twitter offer a little JavaScript widget that automatically uses the API and returns simple HTML of your recent tweets. This tutorial shows you how to design a unique website for your Twitter updates using this widget.

Twitter Web App15

How to Build a Maintainable Website Using CushyCMS and Twitter16
In this tutorial, you build a simple one-page website and then, in less than 5 minutes, set it up with a Twitter feed for daily updates and with CushyCMS for general content.

Twitter Web App17

Send Message from a PHP Page Using the Twitter API18
This is a very simple tutorial (really just a few lines of codes!) that explains how to post a message using the Twitter API from a PHP page.

Twitter Web App19

How to Run Multiple Twitter Feeds on the Same Page20
What if you want to display the Twitter feed of someone you admire or perhaps the feed of another author on your blog? This tutorial shows you how.

Twitter Web App21

Add Twitter to Your Blog (step by step)22
This is a simple but great tutorial: a “step-by-step guide to adding Twitter to your blog without it hanging your website”. Great description.

Twitter Web App23

Scripting Twitter with cURL24
cURL is a versatile command-line utility designed to script Web page interactions. As a little demo, this tutorial shows you how to use it to easily to overcome the shortcomings of Twitter’s API. You can also view the Perl + LWP version of this tutorial here: Scripting Twitter with Perl + LWP25

PHP + Twitter + Google Calendar + SMS26
This tutorial shows you how to add an event to Google Calendar by text message. It shows you how to hook up your Twitter account to Google Calendar using their APIs.

TwitterZoid PHP Script27
TwitterZoid is the name of this PHP script for parsing Twitter RSS feeds. This tutorial shows you how to successfully implement this.

Twitter and AJAX Tutorials

Tweet! Unobtrusive jQuery Twitter Widget Tutorial28
Tweet is an unobtrusive, fast-loading, feature-rich jQuery plug-in that lets you easily display your tweets on your website.

Twitter Web App29

jQuery Plug-in for Twitter30
This is a simple, unobtrusive and customizable client-side method for easily embedding a Twitter feed on a Web page. From Coda, you know it’s going to be smooth. View demo here31.

Twitter Web App32

PHP and Ajax with the Twitter API33
This tutorial shows you how to use jQuery, PHP and a little AJAX to connect to the Twitter API and return results.

Twitter Web App34

Authenticating Twitter API Calls with PHP and jQuery35
In this tutorial, you are shown how to authenticate the API calls to your Twitter credentials (to be able to return your favorites).

Twitter Followers Counter Tutorial36
Here, you are taught how to create your very own Twitter counter, showing how many followers you have. View demo here37.

Twitter Web App38

Juitter – jQuery Plug-In to Put Twitter Live on your Website39
Juitter is a small and fast-loading plug-in. It not only shows tweets to or from a user, but can be filtered to show tweets containing a specific word or restrict searches by language. You can also show avatars, which makes this jQuery plug-in quite unique. View demo here40.

Twitter Web App41

Twitter Emulation, Using MooTools 1.2 and PHP42
What most people probably don’t know is how simple it is to emulate Twitter’s functionality. Using PHP, MySQL and MooTools JavaScript, you can implement a Twitter-like status system in no time.

Twitter Web App43

Sidebar, Widgets and Badges

Create a Twitter Box in Your Sidebar44
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to easily create a fancy box that displays your latest Twitter rants in your sidebar, without having to turn to clunky plug-ins that bog down your blog.

Twitter Web App45

How to Create Your Own Twitter WP Plug-In46
In this tutorial, you will be shown how to write a simple widget to allow your readers to share your posts on their Twitter accounts.

Twitter Web App47

How to Display Your Twitter Status Message in a Speech Bubble48
Display your latest tweet in a nice speech bubble. It can be a pain in the neck creating this with pure CSS and images, so this tutorial will help. A nice effect.

Twitter Web App49

Unobtrusive, Lazy-Loading Badge Using the Twitter API50

Twitter Web App51

A Resizable CSS-Based Twitter Website Badge52
If you find the official Twitter badges too big and clunky, then this tutorial is for you. Display your latest tweet in a neat CSS-designed widget that resizes depending on the size of your tweet.

Twitter Web App53

Custom Twitter Badge Tutorial CSS54
If you’re struggling to get Twitter to suit your website, then this tutorial will show you how to customize the different elements and create your own Twitter badge. View demo here55.

Twitter Web App56

Building My Own Twitter Badge with RSS57
In this tutorial, you will make your own Twitter badge with PHP by reading the RSS feed that Twitter provides. The default Twitter badge uses script tags that do not display when a user has JavaScript disabled. This code will render no matter what and still displays links and the names of tweeters.

Official Twitter Badges58
Display your latest updates with a customized widget (or “badge”) from Twitter itself.

Twitter Web App59

30+ Twitter Icons And Badges60
A large collection of Twitter badges, buttons and icons, available for free download.

Twitter Web App61

Building a Twitter Application

How to Build Your First Flash Twitter Mash-Up in Four Lines of Code!62
Build a Twitter mash-up in four lines of code? That’s all you need, according to this tutorial, to get the latest public timeline updates from Twitter into Flash.

Twitter Client for Android63
A tutorial showing how to create a Twitter client for Android (i.e. how to make XML-over-HTTP calls).

Building an Application with the Twitter API64
Twitter API libraries are available for most popular programming languages, and they’re opening up new possibilities for publishing information. In this tutorial, you will use a short Python script to create tweets when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (or any stock or index you like) makes a big jump.

How to Build a Twitter Agent65
In this article, you will build a useful Twitter service to track the blogosphere.

Twitter Web App66

Building Your Own Twitter Client with Fluid and jQuery67
Here, you will learn how to build your own Twitter client using Fluid (which contains Web apps in their own process/window), to see if it is possible to build a completely open-source, ad-free Twitter-like client on a single Web page, using only JavaScript and HTML.

Twitter Web App68

Twitter Libraries of Note

Twitter Web App

TwitterScript69 (Actionscript)
This is an ActionScript 3.0 library for accessing Twitter’s APIs. This was originally code from Twitter, but it is being open sourced so that it can be maintained and kept current.

QTwitLib70(C++)
QTwitLib is currently in a functioning stage, which allows a user to make calls to the library, which in turn makes POST/GET requests to Twitter and returns a message and status code for the action request.

java-twitter71 (Java)
A Java wrapper around the Twitter API.

jtwitter72 (Java)
JTwitter is a small library providing easy access to the Twitter API. Set and get your status, manage your network of friends, message friends, etc.

My Twitter73 (PHP)
This class can be used to set and retrieve a Twitter user status.

TwitterLibPHP74 (PHP)
An object-oriented PHP interface for the Twitter API.

PHP Twitter75 (PHP)
A Twitter class for PHP, forked, modified and enhanced.

PHP Twitter76 (PHP)
PHP Twitter is a (wrapper) class for communicating with the Twitter API.

python-twitter77 (Python)
A Python wrapper around the Twitter API.

twitty-twister78 (Python)
A twisted client for Twitter-like APIs.

Twittery79 (Ruby)
Twittery is a lightweight Ruby class that interfaces with Twitter’s API to make interacting with Twitter as simple as possible.

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://dev.twitter.com/
  2. 2 http://apiwiki.twitter.com/
  3. 3 http://groups.google.com/group/twitter-api-announce
  4. 4 http://groups.google.com/group/twitter-development-talk
  5. 5 http://twitter.com/twitterapi
  6. 6 http://twittut.netsensei.nl/
  7. 7 http://papermashup.com/using-the-twitter-api/
  8. 8 http://www.webmonkey.com/tutorial/Get_Started_With_the_Twitter_API
  9. 9 http://www.devx.com/webdev/Article/40359?trk=DXRSS_LATEST
  10. 10 http://css-tricks.com/build-your-own-social-home/
  11. 11 http://css-tricks.com/build-your-own-social-home/
  12. 12 http://thinkvitamin.com/features/how-to-create-an-rss-enabled-micro-blog-with-twitter/
  13. 13 http://thinkvitamin.com/features/how-to-create-an-rss-enabled-micro-blog-with-twitter/
  14. 14 http://tutorialblog.org/how-to-make-a-unique-website-for-your-twitter-updates/
  15. 15 http://tutorialblog.org/how-to-make-a-unique-website-for-your-twitter-updates/
  16. 16 http://nettuts.com/site-builds/how-to-build-a-maintainable-site-using-cushycms-and-twitter/
  17. 17 http://nettuts.com/site-builds/how-to-build-a-maintainable-site-using-cushycms-and-twitter/
  18. 18 http://woork.blogspot.com/2007/10/twitter-send-message-from-php-page.html
  19. 19 http://woork.blogspot.com/2007/10/twitter-send-message-from-php-page.html
  20. 20 http://forthelose.org/how-to-run-multiple-twitter-feeds-on-the-same-page
  21. 21 http://forthelose.org/how-to-run-multiple-twitter-feeds-on-the-same-page
  22. 22 http://remysharp.com/2007/05/18/add-twitter-to-your-blog-step-by-step/
  23. 23 http://remysharp.com/2007/05/18/add-twitter-to-your-blog-step-by-step/
  24. 24 http://www.sakana.fr/blog/2007/03/18/scripting-twitter-with-curl/
  25. 25 http://www.sakana.fr/blog/2007/03/18/scripting-twitter-with-perl-lwp/
  26. 26 http://dotjay.co.uk/2008/feb/php-twitter-google-calendar-sms
  27. 27 http://crunchbang.org/archives/2008/02/20/twitterzoid-php-script/
  28. 28 http://tweet.seaofclouds.com/
  29. 29 http://tweet.seaofclouds.com/
  30. 30 http://coda.co.za/blog/2008/10/26/jquery-plugin-for-twitter
  31. 31 http://coda.co.za/content/projects/jquery.twitter/demo.html
  32. 32 http://coda.co.za/blog/2008/10/26/jquery-plugin-for-twitter
  33. 33 http://www.reynoldsftw.com/2009/02/using-jquery-php-ajax-with-the-twitter-api/
  34. 34 http://www.reynoldsftw.com/2009/02/using-jquery-php-ajax-with-the-twitter-api/
  35. 35 http://www.reynoldsftw.com/2009/02/authenticating-twitter-api-calls-with-php-and-jquery/
  36. 36 http://blog.ajaxmasters.com/year/2009/month/1/title/Twitter-followers-counter-tutorial/post.htm
  37. 37 http://blog.ajaxmasters.com/demos/twitter_followers/followers_test.php
  38. 38 http://blog.ajaxmasters.com/year/2009/month/1/title/Twitter-followers-counter-tutorial/post.htm
  39. 39 http://juitter.com/
  40. 40 http://juitter.com/
  41. 41 http://juitter.com/
  42. 42 http://nettuts.com/tutorials/php/twitter-emulation-using-mootools-12-and-php/
  43. 43 http://nettuts.com/tutorials/php/twitter-emulation-using-mootools-12-and-php/
  44. 44 http://blog.pinkandyellow.com/css/create-a-twitter-box-in-your-sidebar-20081106/
  45. 45 http://blog.pinkandyellow.com/css/create-a-twitter-box-in-your-sidebar-20081106/
  46. 46 http://www.problogdesign.com/wordpress/how-to-create-your-own-twitter-widget/
  47. 47 http://www.problogdesign.com/wordpress/how-to-create-your-own-twitter-widget/
  48. 48 http://www.maverickwebcreations.com/2008/11/06/twitter-status-message-speech-bubble-wordpress.html
  49. 49 http://www.maverickwebcreations.com/2008/11/06/twitter-status-message-speech-bubble-wordpress.html
  50. 50 http://www.wait-till-i.com/2008/04/11/example-of-an-unobtrusive-lazy-loading-badge-using-the-twitter-api/
  51. 51 http://www.wait-till-i.com/2008/04/11/example-of-an-unobtrusive-lazy-loading-badge-using-the-twitter-api/
  52. 52 http://trainque.com/blog/2007/06/03/a-resizable-css-based-twitter-site-badge/
  53. 53 http://trainque.com/blog/2007/06/03/a-resizable-css-based-twitter-site-badge/
  54. 54 http://www.nouveller.com/css/get-yourself-a-great-looking-custom-twitter-badge/
  55. 55 http://www.nouveller.com/css/get-yourself-a-great-looking-custom-twitter-badge/
  56. 56 http://www.thelastknight.co.uk/tutorials/adding-and-customising-a-twitter-feed/
  57. 57 http://www.upsidedowncity.net/building-my-own-twitter-badge-with-rss/
  58. 58 http://twitter.com/badges
  59. 59 http://twitter.com/badges
  60. 60 http://www.drweb.de/magazin/20-twitter-icons-websites/
  61. 61 http://www.drweb.de/magazin/20-twitter-icons-websites/
  62. 62 http://aralbalkan.com/999
  63. 63 http://davanum.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/twitter-client-for-android-how-to-make-xml-over-http-calls/
  64. 64 http://www.devx.com/webdev/Article/40511?trk=DXRSS_LATEST
  65. 65 http://dominiek.com/articles/2008/2/15/how-to-build-a-twitter-agent
  66. 66 http://dominiek.com/articles/2008/2/15/how-to-build-a-twitter-agent
  67. 67 http://www.peterkrantz.com/2008/twitter-client-with-fluid-and-jquery/
  68. 68 http://www.peterkrantz.com/2008/twitter-client-with-fluid-and-jquery/
  69. 69 http://code.google.com/p/twitterscript/
  70. 70 http://twitlib.googlecode.com/
  71. 71 http://code.google.com/p/java-twitter/
  72. 72 http://www.winterwell.com/software/jtwitter.php
  73. 73 http://www.phpclasses.org/browse/package/4075.html
  74. 74 http://github.com/jdp/twitterlibphp
  75. 75 http://code.google.com/p/php-twitter/
  76. 76 http://classes.verkoyen.eu/twitter/
  77. 77 http://code.google.com/p/python-twitter/
  78. 78 http://github.com/dustin/twitty-twister/tree/master
  79. 79 http://rubyforge.org/projects/twittery

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Paul Andrew is a freelance Web designer. He is chief admin for Speckyboy - Design Magazine, a Web design, Web development and graphic design resource blog.

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  1. 1

    Nice roundup. I’ll try some of these for sure.

    2
  2. 2

    It’s pretty easy. I used the Arc90 Twitter Client (http://lab.arc90.com/2008/06/php_twitter_api_client.php) to built my app within a few hours:

    MrMilestone: http://thetwittertagproject.com/milestone.php

    1
  3. 3

    I made a few Animated tweet icons i thought i’d share…will add more when i have time.

    -1
  4. 4

    sorry about the promotion of my twitter. Maybe i just like twitter that much thats why i need a lot of friends. lol :)

    1
  5. 5

    PockeTwit is another great app for mobile phone! ;)
    @santirocco on twitter :)

    2
  6. 6

    There is a nice app for Last.fm Sidebar: Lasttweet.com I wish you mentioned it in this article.

    -1
  7. 7

    Nice, shame I can’t even follow @smashingmag on Twitter! Grrrrr

    -1
  8. 8

    Jimmy Rittenborg

    March 2, 2009 8:17 am

    You also forget alertthingy.com which gather a lot (if not all) of these social updates into one pretty simple and nice Adobe AIR app.. aside from tweetdeck, this thing also allows you to update your facebook status and follow along with whatever your friends are doing, directly from your desktop.

    1
  9. 9

    Twitter is awesome and this post is pretty interesting.

    Thanks!

    1
  10. 10

    First one! Great post as usual!

    1
  11. 12

    An example of how I use the Twitter API to create a motion chart of tweet keywords and a twitter world map from over 4,000,000 tweets: Twitter Charts

    0
  12. 13

    Great post. I’ll try these tools.

    0
  13. 14

    Nice Round-Up!! I’m kinda new to twitter and these stuff comes in handy… Thanks Paul for your effort in putting this together & allowing others to learn from it.

    DKumar M.

    0
  14. 15

    I wrote simular functionality by myself about half year ago. But API is good ^_^

    0
  15. 16

    Dinu Dominic Manns

    March 2, 2009 6:38 am

    Great article! Exactly what I was looking for to improve my own website…

    0
  16. 17

    Wow – thanks for the comprehensive list of tools! Wanted to also make sure your readers knew about our new site, My Social Buttons that has lots of Twitter icons, graphics and buttons (along with many other social media tools).

    0
  17. 18

    Great article again. (but you’ve missed the ‘y’ in Paul’s blog URL!)

    0
  18. 19

    I really have to consider Twitter…

    0
  19. 20

    I have one more desktop application “Tweetdeck.com” to add in your list. I am sure it will also be very useful.

    Ali.

    0
  20. 21

    Wow, Cool Post !
    Very Usefull .. I always wanted something like that.. ;)

    0
  21. 22

    Awesome, I like “How to Make a Unique Website for Your Twitter Updates” too much.

    Thanks!

    0
  22. 23

    Speckboy link at bottom of article is broken.

    0
  23. 24
  24. 25

    Thanks for the link to the python twitter wrapper. Meaning to learn more about Python, and this is the perfect place to start. Twitter is the new “Hello World”.

    0
  25. 26

    One more suggestion for building your website around Twitter. SweetCron is a lifestreaming blog software that seems to have a lot of potential. I have not installed my copy yet, but have a few friends that are running SweetCron blogs. Thanks for the article.

    0
  26. 27

    You have done a entire post on twitter without mentioning tweetmeme once. Tweetmeme gives you a way to integrate full digg like voting through twitter, using either a javascript widget or a wordpress.

    http://www.tweetmeme.com/button.php

    0
  27. 28

    Hey, thanks alot for the link to the “Multiple Twitter Feeds on the Same Page” article. I really appreciate it ;)

    0
  28. 29

    This is going to be my new favorite article for a while. I’m glad someone finally put all of these resources in one spot. Thanks!

    0
  29. 30

    Twitsrc is great as a Twitter paste bin (with syntax highlighting).

    0
  30. 31

    omg for god’s sake stop pumping twitter. it is a completly useless site and NO NO NO it is NOT next facebook.

    -1
  31. 32

    Thanks a lot

    0
  32. 33

    I don’t really get Twitter, I have to say. The hype surrounding Twitter reminds me of that which surrounded MySpace before it passed into “uncool” territory. I was hoping for an explanation in this article of why Twitter is now “more than a fad”, especially since it seems so similar to a Facebook status. Can someone explain it to me? I’m not catching on.

    0
  33. 34

    How to insert twitts on your lastfm site > http://lasttweet.com/

    0
  34. 35

    Dainis Graveris

    March 2, 2009 1:11 pm

    extremely useful post! wow!

    0
  35. 36

    Excellent post! I implemented one of the tutorials on my website.
    To those who don’t “get” twitter or understand the purpose – look at all the information above!! Twitter has one simple function – to update others on what you’re doing and yet there’s so many different ways it can be extended and personalized onto your own website. You cannot do that with Facebook or Myspace. Sometimes the simplest things are the best things folks!

    0
  36. 37

    @Sarah – I agree, when people say “Twitter is now a necessity for every website” it just makes me cringe and wonder what they have been drinking. Out of about 20 clients I have spoke to none are even remotely interested in implementing twitter or using it. Like most they see no value in it and I am really hard pressed to find any myself.

    My two cents, Twitter is hardly necessary or useful for the vast majority of websites and is just another social networking app that people like because it lets them talk to a theoretical audience online (ooooh look at me, I’m Internet famous!)

    0
  37. 38

    It’s a nice collection!
    Here’s more essential twitter tools may be useful for you.
    http://fishintheriver.com/2009/02/27/50-essential-twitter-tools-for-bloggers/

    0
  38. 39

    i’m so sick of hearing about twitter…

    1
  39. 40

    I also disagree on the “necessity” of Twitter.

    0
  40. 41

    You forgot to mention http://www.tweetizen.com

    0
  41. 42

    Im a bit sick of hearing about twitter as well, however I still use it. It’s a very useful tool and is capable of so many things. However, as this post illustrates, it could use some upgrades. Excellent post!

    0
  42. 43

    as i posted before twitter is just a big empty baloon. It is not next facebook. I read an article about twitter users. More than %80 of are minors (below 18 years old). Mostly using twitter for “oohhh look at lindsay hair, hey here is new britney shoes”… After reading this article any site with “follow us on twitter” icon makes me think it is another kiddy site

    0
  43. 44

    Supeeeerrrrrrrrbbb!! :D

    0
  44. 45

    Yep, another social nework.
    Can anyone explain me usefulness?
    I just don’t get it.

    How useful can be “I’m drinking coffee.” or “I’m writing blog right now.”.

    From my point of view it’s another time waster.
    Excuse me, …. beep beep beep

    0
  45. 46

    Great post and here is an open source .net twitter app : http://www.codeplex.com/jata

    0
  46. 47

    nice collection as usual !

    zeroone You are right(but not 100%), there are a ton of people who providing useful information instantly via twitter.

    its up to one how smartly he/she uses it :)

    0
  47. 48

    Its amazing how much resources there is directed towards twitter. Fascinating list. Very very good reading. Thanks guys.

    0
  48. 49

    Great post!
    I miss a lot of Rails/Twitter tutorials except the last ruby one.

    0
  49. 50

    I think a twitter box can add a really interesting element to a website, it’s something I’ve been meaning to add to my own site for a while now.

    0
  50. 51

    JSP (and/or Coldfusion) components for Twitter: Twitter taglib

    0

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