Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Twitter has killed off RSS feeds, that's why your stuff doesn't work

by @JoBrodie,

RSS Food
All gone...

Twitter's been threatening to kill off RSS feeds for a while now and it seems it's finally done it some time today.

****** 2 July 2013  
Try instead.
Twitter-RSS ( no longer works and is redirecting to what seems to be a blog / web hosting service.

A commenter on a different post suggests
Twitter killed off RSS feeds a few weeks back when it retired v1 of the API. I ended up writing my own set of scripts that filled this gap by providing RSS feeds. It is called Twools. You run it on your website and it gives you various RSS feeds of your Twitter data with powerful data. You can then use with a service like IFTTT.

I've written more about it here, if you are interested....

I'm not sure how many people will be affected by Twitter's ending of RSS outputs, or if it will affect people at all but I'm fairly convinced that there are those who will have set something up, perhaps a couple of years ago, to send tweets via RSS to a bit of their website and will now find that it doesn't work. Possibly they won't even know why or what to do with the error message, which is probably only helpful if you're a developer.

The error message for the RSS feed for #test says
"The Twitter REST API v1 is no longer active. Please migrate to API v1.1."

There appear to be lots of very good reasons why Twitter RSS isn't that good a way of working with stuff but I feel a pang of disappointment at the fact that it was really quite easy to use if you knew little about coding, and now it might be a bit harder to do what you easily did before. To be fair Twitter does have some amazing widgets that work beautifully with websites and blogs, but I am still raising an imaginary toast to the RSS feeds, and how we all used them when Twitter pulled the plug on IFTTT.

Goodbye Twitter RSS.

Here are some previous, now out of date, posts from me on Twitter's RSS feeds.

5 March 2013
Workarounds for people who used RSS feeds from Twitter - and now can't

12 October 2012
Has Twitter killed RSS feeds yet? Possibly not, but not working awfully well

30 September 2012
Handy Twitter RSS feeds to bypass IFTTT Twitter trigger switchoff

22 September 2012
IFTTT and Twitter - what alternatives will work?

Further reading
Battle for the planet of the APIs (17 June 2013) by Jeremy Keith 
This talks about the changing landscape of shareable feeds across different platforms and how it's becoming less easy to do so because many 'social' media are effectively becoming walled gardens. And my post gets a namecheck which was a nice surprise that happened when I clicked a link to the 'Battle for the planet of the APIs' post while reading this next one.

Lockdown (3 July 2013) by Marco Ament
"The bigger problem is that they’ve abandoned interoperability. RSS, semantic markup, microformats, and open APIs all enable interoperability, but the big players don’t want that — they want to lock you in, shut out competitors, and make a service so proprietary that even if you could get your data out, it would be either useless (no alternatives to import into) or cripplingly lonely (empty social networks)."

Search terms: Has Twitter stopped RSS feeds? Yes 


  1. This sucks. I used to be able to just plug the RSS feed into Thunderbird and deal with it alongside my email. Now I guess I'll have to learn how to program something to replace it.

    1. Yes it is a bit annoying. I'm sure a fair few people won't know how to do any programming to solve this (or won't have access to a server which often seems necessary too). Possibly there will just be lots of people that don't even spot there's a problem with it!

  2. Two sites you might be interested in:

    Twitter-RSS - just enter a valid user name and you'll get a feed

    Siftlinks - monitors your twitter stream, and creates an RSS feed of any links that are shared:

    1. Thank you :) I just heard about the first one but not the second so will take a look.

  3. For some reason started spitting spam for me recently.

  4. For me too. Bad form from Twitter-RSS. I would have paid if that was an option. Spamming just makes me look hard elsewhere.

  5. Thanks both, yes I've just checked and it seems that the site is down. It may be because Twitter asked / persuaded them to kill it off, or it could just be a temporary glitch...

  6. I tried plugging in a twitter account by a blogger I read, Dickpolman1, and it doesn't work. Any suggestions?

    1. I just tried my own on Twitter-RSS and it worked fine... it might be a bit temperamental.

  7. Tweetledee restores many of the "old" Twitter feeds, including search feeds, user timelines, home timelines, and favorites. More coming in the next few weeks. Here is the link to the documentation for those who are interested:

  8. It's July 1, and I'm in the process of populating Internet Explorer (yes, Internet Explorer) with work-related RSS feeds, and I thought I'd add some relevant Twitter accounts to my feed list. Unfortunately, I can't.

    And no, doesn't work for me at the moment.

    1. Infuriating isn't it. It's as if everyone who ever used RSS feeds in this way is going to have to 'upskill' themselves and learn a bit of coding. Alas I don't think I have any useful alternatives beyond those suggested here already. If you know about C++ then you might be able to make use of the info in this comment on a similar blog post of mine (I think you'll have to copy and paste the URL into the address bar, links don't work in the comments section).

    2. John-do you have access to a server to be able to generate the feeds or do you need this to be a hosted service for you?

      For the former, check out the Tweetledee link that I posted above and feel free to contact me if you have problems with installation or use (@pixsied on twitter). For the latter, was the only service that I have come across over the last several months and I have been doing quite a bit of searching. Unfortunately, as of yesterday, the site forwards to a web site template service. Unclear what happened but it seems to be gone for good. I received a comment about the site yesterday and haven't had a chance to look into it yet (see the George H comment below). It sounds as though this is an option. I would caution you to look into who is providing the service before you use it on a production site because (1) there is a great deal of interest out there; (2) it is going to place enormous bandwidth constraints on the services that popup; (3) they aren't charging anyone for the service. This means one of two things. Be prepared to pay for it in the future or be prepared for them to fold when they begin to mount significant charges for their application use. I believe that the link is Google App Engine. They allow developers ~ several million "pageviews" per month before charging for the service. As Twitter users flock to these services and request their RSS feeds multiple times per day, those limits are exceeded. has received a lot of publicity over the last couple of weeks and I suspect that is what took them out of the picture. It remains to be seen how the next service will tolerate the traffic. Ultimately, reliable hosted RSS feeds require you to do it yourself for your own personal consumption (and therefore assume the cost and implementation pains -e.g. caching feeds so that you do not exceed rate limits) or for a company with the capacity to deliver such a service to take this over and recoup the costs that it involves through ads/charges/etc.

      Hope it helps.

    3. works quite well for me - though they do seem to be over capacity several times during the day like Chris predicted. But it works for me because when the site is alive - all my twitter accounts get updated on RSS.

    4. An appeal to Chris Simpkins and other helpful souls,

      I am ready to upskill and learn to host reliable RSS feeds from Twitter and pay for it out of my own pocket for bandwidths etc instead of relying on other websites that can disappear without warning.

      This no doubt will require me to have a website and may be even a server of some sort ???

      I have Googled quite a bit but have failed to find a website or book or video or teacher who can show me how to start from nothing, more or less in a step by step way.

      For a start, do I build my own website using Wordpress because it is free and the knowledge is scalable should I want to run an online business later?

      Where can I find a web server?

      Build my own using server OS such as Windows Server 2012?

      Can I get a web server from a cheap commercial host?

      Are the following 2 websites considered a commercial host?

      If yes, what kind of programming knowledge and how much of it do I need to have in order to make use of such cheap commercial host?

      Apache PHP MYSQL ?
      XAMPP (which has Apache PHP MYSQL)
      Linux Mint so that I can install XAMPP Linux flavor on it?

      How to get from Tweetledee on github to a self created WordPress site?

      There is a knowledge gap between what I know and what I want to achieve.

      And I am frustrated because I don't quite know where to begin.

      I know the reason I haven't found my answers through Googling is because I don't even know the right questions to ask.

      I don't know what I don't know.

      Mr Simpkins, I wonder if you could point me in the right direction?

      So that I can make use of your Tweetledee and not have to rely on other websites to turn Twitter feeds into RSS.

      Then I am going to write a blog post about what I have learned, for dummies like me.

      Thanks a million.


    5. Hi - I've flagged up your query to Chris but can't guarantee he'll be able to answer. That's quite a lot of questions and it would probably take a blog post of its own to answer! :)

    6. Thanks Jo and Lawrence. I responded to Lawrence by email to address all of his questions. Hope it helps! -C

    7. Thanks JO and Chris.
      Chris has been very helpful and responded quickly.
      I am doing more research based on his excellent suggestions.

  9. is dead - I have been using for some time now. It seems to work fine, you enter a twitter account and it creates a RSS feed of the user timeline.

    1. Cheers, that works quite nicely although I'm fairly sure my tweets were out of order, but not in a way that I'd consider fatal ;)

    2. rss4twitter works fine. However, I'm assuming you use the generated URL[twitter name] in your RSS feed widget? Is there another way to grab that feed? I'm on a network with very stringent access restrictions and the "" domain is blocked.

    3. I don't know of an alternative way of accessing appspot I'm afraid - I see it's blocked in quite a few places. Yes, I did use the generated URL, although I just viewed it online. I don't use RSS feeds from Twitter myself, I'm just annoyed that people are no longer able to if they want to and I'm keen to find alternatives.

  10. You can now use . It is working for me.

  11. Here is an alternative way of creating a Twitter RSS Feed of tweets

  12. Can anyone explain to me how to use tweetledee? I am not engineer but have my own server. I will need to understand how to obtain tweetledee domain name and what libcurl is used for..basically, a detail explanation for each step..

  13. Here is new website offering any Twitter user to generate Twitter RSS feed at I use it and it's great.

  14. You can easily access all feeds here are the steps

  15. Margarita Madlanbayan asks "Does anyone know, or have heard of a tool called vWri^^ Says it keeps Twitter updated from RSS Feeds. How true? Is this possible?"

    I've not heard of it - as far as I'm aware Twitter no longer supports any RSS feeds so it would seem to be impossible. However it's almost always the case on the internet that someone finds a way around it ;)

    If anyone knows more, please pipe up... however a quick Google of v Writer suggested it looks a bit spammy so proceed with caution, I've broken the URL in the comment.

  16. Hey Jo, great post!
    I've created a tool for my own marketing that convert Twitter searches, hashtags and lists into RSS, and I've just made it open to anyone. It's totally free, no rate limits or restrictions :)

    Let me know what you think -


Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).