Automate Your Twitter with a BOT!

We all have Twitter accounts and we all tweet stuff. But sometimes, we all suffer from information overload. And we all need to get more followers right? So one of the things we can do is automate Twitter posts using a tweet bot. I am using nodejs as my framework (simply because it works for webapps pretty good). You can search on the web to understand how to install nodejs and npm. Use the latest version and it should work fine. I am also using a Twitter API client for nodejs known as Twit. Twit is a very simple library that wraps all the twitter APIs in easy to use function calls. The code is pretty straight forward as can be seen below.

But first, go to https://dev.twitter.com/ and register your app. You will now get a consumer key and a consumer secret. Authenticate the app to use your twitter account which will give you additional access token and access token secret. Create an environment file and store these in there. If you know javascript, the code is very easy to follow. We first create a Twit client, give it the secret keys that will allow it to authenticate our account and use the secrets to post messages on our behalf. Go through the API docs for Twit, they are very extensive.

But if you are just plain lasy, copy the code I have written, modify the environment variables and get going. You can add more code as needed. Be sure to share it though. Now, either you can deploy it locally on your machine or use a cloud hosting service supporting nodejs hosting. My provider does not support nodejs hosting and I am in no mood to change them (YET) and I don’t want it hosted locally since I am not the guy who keeps my app running all the time (though seems a good idea now) and I am not the one to spend bucks on another hosting provider. So I have 3 options.

1. https://glitch.com/
2. https://www.heroku.com/
3. https://www.openshift.com/

Of course, there are more but you can use either of these to host your app for free. The only limitation is that your app will be killed if not accessed within 30 minutes. So you simply need to login to your computer and keep pinging the hosted URL :D. Naah.. I am kidding. We can start a cron job and use many of the free cron jobbing sites like:

1. https://cron-job.org/en/
2. https://uptimerobot.com/

For my twitter bot, I am using heroku and cron-job.org. Between, have a look at my bot at https://twitter.com/perfmetrics_bot. And besides retweeting, you can also use the bot to greet your new followers, say good by to people who unfollow you, gather some statistics, etc. I will write a different article on that one (once I update my bot). Between, be sure to follow my proper Twitter Account https://twitter.com/wolverine2k and show your support.

ENJOY!