How to Make a Twitter Bot in 10 Minutes
If you have the necessary Python coding skills, you can easily make a Twitter bot in just 10 minutes. A bot lets you easily interact on Twitter without wasting valuable time that could be spent on other activities.
Twitter bots are particularly useful for companies or entrepreneurs who want to build up a presence on Twitter without putting in the extra time. Luckily, making that Twitter bot is fairly easy if you already have a Python certificate of completion or some basic knowledge of the programming language.
Make Sure Python Is Installed
This guide is going to show you how to make the Twitter bot using Python as the main script, so you’ll obviously need Python installed on your computer. If you already have Python on your computer, skip this step. Otherwise, the instructions vary slightly for Mac and Windows.
On a Mac, start by opening the macOS Terminal, which gives you access to your computer’s command line interface. Once there, you need to install Homebrew, the package manager that will let you install and update Python.
To install Homebrew, enter:
/usr/bin/ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)
After a few minutes have passed, Homebrew will be installed. Then, you can install Python by typing in:
brew install python3
That code will install Python 3, as well as setuptools, wheel, and pip.
On Windows, go to the Python website and download the program. Now, set up a PATH environment variable by going to Advanced System Settings on your computer and finding Environmental Variables. Click that option, so you can set up the Python Executable to use with the Command Prompt.
Select “New,” then add PATH for the variable name. Select the Path variable, then select “Edit.” You can then add any of these lines:
Following the above steps means that now you have Pip from Python on either your Mac or Windows computer. You can confirm this by running python -m pip-V. It should give you a message similar to “pip 8.1.2 from ___.” If it doesn’t, you may have to locally install Pip.
Setting Up Twitter
Now it is time to connect to the Twitter API. You’ll need a Twitter account for this to work, so if you don’t already have one, make one. Then, continue using Python to interact with the API. To do this, go into your Windows Command Prompt or Mac Terminal and run:
pip install tweepy
Open your browser, head to https://apps.twitter.com, then sign in. Select “Create New App.” You should see a screen with application details, such as the name, description, website, and callback URL. Fill everything out as you want it. Then, it’s time to put your Python certificate of completion to good use.
Set up the Tweets
Temporarily ignore your application setup. Instead, we’ll work to craft the tweets that the bot will display using Python. Right-click to make a new folder on your desktop. Open the folder and make a file that you call “content.txt” and another called “app.py.” The first will hold the tweets, and the second will read the file and tweet out the contents. You can then open content.txt in your favorite text editor.
Put as many phrases, words, and sentences as you want in the file, keeping in mind that these will be the tweets that the bot shares. It will look something like:
I’m a chatbot!
Once you’re done, save the file.
Now you get to use your knowledge from when you learn Python. Open up the app.py file using a program like VS Code. Write in the following:
import tweepy, time
“Tweepy” lets you communicate with Twitter, and “time” will let you set how often you tweet.
Then, enter the following information from your Twitter application management:
CONSUMER_KEY = ‘…’
Keep the quotation marks and replace the ellipsis with your consumer key.
CONSUMER_SECRET = ‘…’
Keep the quotation marks and replace the ellipsis with your consumer secret key.
ACCESS_TOKEN = ‘…’
Keep the quotation marks and replace the ellipsis with your access token.
ACCESS_SECRET = ‘…’
Keep the quotation marks and replace the ellipsis with your access token secret.
Next, you need to set up the Twitter access information:
auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(CONSUMER_KEY, CONSUMER_SECRET)
The next part tells the bot to access Twitter:
api = tweepy.API(auth)
The next piece of code tells the bot to open the content file and read every line. Enter:
The next part tells the bot to tweet every line in the content file, except when it hits an error
for line in f:
except tweepy.TweepError , err:
print(“All done tweeting!”)
Finally, “time.sleep(90)” tells the bot to tweet every 2 minutes.
If you don’t have the time to learn Python in-depth, copying and pasting the above code allows you to create a simple Twitter bot. However, earning a Python certificate of completion will help you truly understand the code and even tweak it to better meet your needs.
To use the code above, you still need to add access and consumer information. To add the consumer info:
- Go back to the application page in the browser where you created the Twitter bot.
- Click on the bot, then go to Keys and Access Tokens.
- Copy the Consumer Key and the Consumer Secret Key.
- Add them to the above Python code you pasted into VS Code. You’ll paste them into the area where you see CONSUMER_KEY and CONSUMER_SECRET.
To add the access info:
- Go back to the Twitter bot page and click on Create My Access Token.
- Now, you can copy and paste the information for both the Access Token and the Access Token Secret in the appropriate spots in app.py, like you did with the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret Key. In this case, you place them by ACCESS_TOKEN and ACCESS_SECRET within your Python
With some simple use of Python and a bit of copying and pasting, your Twitter bot is now complete and running. Use the Command Prompt or Mac Terminal to go to the folder on your desktop. Unsure how?
- First, enter ‘cd.’
- Then, drag and drop your folder onto the Command Prompt or Mac Terminal.
- Then, enter: ‘python app.py’
At this point, your bot will be active. Once your bot tweets out all the messages you included in content.txt, the code should exit. You can do even more with the Twitter bot with some more time and the knowledge you take away when you earn a Python certificate of completion.