Automation rules and best practices

Updated April 8, 2015

This page is mostly intended for developers.

Users: you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your account, which means you shouldn't let a third-party application access or use your account unless you've thoroughly investigated the application. Automation may result in your content being filtered from search results. In addition, if your account automation violates the Twitter Rules (by Retweeting spam updates, repeatedly posting duplicate links, etc.), your account may be suspended. For more information on third-party applications, please see our help page on Connecting or revoking third-party applications.


Quick Links:
Automating Tweets
Automated multiple accounts
Automated replies and mentions
Automated Retweeting
Automated following and unfollowing
Automated Direct Messages
Automated favoriting
Automated deleting

We love developers and are constantly amazed by the applications and services created on the Twitter platform. Here are a few examples of automations that enhance the user experience:

1. @Klmfares replies to structured Tweets with airfares:


2. @OHClosings alerts followers about school closures:


With that said, generally most automation is detrimental to the user experience and frequently results in blocks and suspensions.

As a first step, be sure to review the Twitter Rules as well as the Developer Agreement and Policy to ensure that your integration is compliant. Applications that facilitate or induce users to violate the Twitter Rules or that violate the Developer Agreement and Policy may be subject to enforcement action, including but not limited to having their access to the Twitter API rate limited, suspended, or terminated. Some use cases of automation are permitted only if you have received the prior express consent of the user. Please note that a user authenticating through your application does not constitute express user consent.

Please read the following guidelines carefully as they outline both permitted and prohibited use cases of automation.

If you are an application developer and need policy clarification please don’t hesitate to reach out on the Developer Forum or contact us directly.

Automating Tweets

Automating Tweets based on a completed user action

With express user consent, posting an automated Tweet after completing a particular action is permitted. For example, posting a Tweet after a user uploads a video to YouTube, creates a new photo album, or beats a high score is permitted.

Automating Tweets by streaming external information

  • Blog feeds: With express user consent, you may post automated updates of a user’s own content, such as blog posts, as long as the posts comply with the Twitter Rules.
  • Feeds that go through redirects or promotional pages: Posting automated links that redirect through landing or ad pages before the final content is prohibited. Such behavior constitutes the posting of misleading links, which is a violation of the Twitter Rules.
  • Feeds for community benefit: With express user consent, you are permitted to create feeds for what Twitter deems to be community benefit, or to provide information to a niche group of users such as local weather feeds or transit information, as long as the posts comply with the Twitter Rules.

Automatically Tweeting to trending topics

Trending topics are the most Tweeted-about topics on Twitter at any moment. Posting automated Tweets to trending topics can degrade the experience for other users and is prohibited.


Automating multiple accounts

Creating and/or automating serial (or multiple) accounts for overlapping use cases is prohibited. For more information about serial or multiple accounts, please see the Twitter Rules.

Automating multiple accounts for what Twitter deems to be community benefit is permitted. For example, applications may automate accounts to Tweet when the Hubble Space Telescope passes overhead, whether these accounts are in San Francisco or Hong Kong.

Automated replies and mentions

The reply and mention functions are intended to make communication between users easier, and automating these processes in order to reach many users is considered an abuse of the feature. If your application creates or facilitates automated reply messages or mentions to many users, the recipients must request or otherwise indicate an intent to be contacted in advance. For example, sending automated replies based on keyword searches is not permitted. Users must also have a clear and easy way to opt-out of receiving automated reply messages and mentions from your application.

Note: media or brands using auto-response campaigns must request approval from Twitter and may be subject to additional rules. Please reach out to your account or partner manager for assistance. If you do not have a partner manager but are interested in managed client services, contact us.

Automated Retweeting

Automation of Retweets often leads to spam and other negative user experiences; therefore, Retweeting in a bulk or automated manner is prohibited. Automated Retweeting is permitted for apps or accounts that Twitter deems to provide a community benefit.

Automated following and unfollowing

You may not use or develop any application that allows for the following or unfollowing of user accounts in a bulk or automated manner. Using block as a means to unfollow users is also not allowed. Accounts and applications that engage in this practice will be suspended. Please also review our Following rules and best practices to ensure you are in compliance. Also note that applications that claim to get users more followers are prohibited under the Twitter Rules.

Automated Direct Messages

With express user consent, automation of Direct Messaging is permitted. If your application sends or facilitates automated Direct Messages, users must request or otherwise indicate an intent to send or receive Direct Messages in advance. Authenticating into an app is not sufficient user consent.

In efforts to prevent spam and protect our users from potentially malicious activity, we discourage sending links in the body of an automated Direct Message, and the action may be denied.

Automated favoriting

You may not develop any application that allows for favoriting of Tweets in a bulk or automated manner. Aggressive favoriting is a violation of the Twitter Rules.

Automated deleting

Deleting Tweets in a bulk or automated manner is permitted only with prior express user consent. Your application must clearly state that in the event Tweets are deleted, they will not be recoverable.