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A Twitter library in PHP.

Copyright (C) 2010-2014 Jublo Solutions support@jublo.net

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


  • PHP 5.3.0 or higher
  • OpenSSL extension


To authenticate your API requests on behalf of a certain Twitter user (following OAuth 1.0a), take a look at these steps:

require_once ('codebird.php');
\Codebird\Codebird::setConsumerKey('YOURKEY', 'YOURSECRET'); // static, see 'Using multiple Codebird instances'

$cb = \Codebird\Codebird::getInstance();

You may either set the OAuth token and secret, if you already have them:


Or you authenticate, like this:


if (! isset($_SESSION['oauth_token'])) {
    // get the request token
    $reply = $cb->oauth_requestToken(array(
        'oauth_callback' => 'http://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']

    // store the token
    $cb->setToken($reply->oauth_token, $reply->oauth_token_secret);
    $_SESSION['oauth_token'] = $reply->oauth_token;
    $_SESSION['oauth_token_secret'] = $reply->oauth_token_secret;
    $_SESSION['oauth_verify'] = true;

    // redirect to auth website
    $auth_url = $cb->oauth_authorize();
    header('Location: ' . $auth_url);

} elseif (isset($_GET['oauth_verifier']) && isset($_SESSION['oauth_verify'])) {
    // verify the token
    $cb->setToken($_SESSION['oauth_token'], $_SESSION['oauth_token_secret']);

    // get the access token
    $reply = $cb->oauth_accessToken(array(
        'oauth_verifier' => $_GET['oauth_verifier']

    // store the token (which is different from the request token!)
    $_SESSION['oauth_token'] = $reply->oauth_token;
    $_SESSION['oauth_token_secret'] = $reply->oauth_token_secret;

    // send to same URL, without oauth GET parameters
    header('Location: ' . basename(__FILE__));

// assign access token on each page load
$cb->setToken($_SESSION['oauth_token'], $_SESSION['oauth_token_secret']);

Application-only auth

Some API methods also support authenticating on a per-application level. This is useful for getting data that are not directly related to a specific Twitter user, but generic to the Twitter ecosystem (such as search/tweets).

To obtain an app-only bearer token, call the appropriate API:

$reply = $cb->oauth2_token();
$bearer_token = $reply->access_token;

I strongly recommend that you store the obtained bearer token in your database. There is no need to re-obtain the token with each page load, as it becomes invalid only when you call the oauth2/invalidate_token method.

If you already have your token, tell Codebird to use it:


In this case, you don't need to set the consumer key and secret. For sending an API request with app-only auth, see the Usage examples section.

Usage examples

When you have an access token, calling the API is simple:

$cb->setToken($_SESSION['oauth_token'], $_SESSION['oauth_token_secret']); // see above

$reply = (array) $cb->statuses_homeTimeline();

Tweeting is as easy as this:

$reply = $cb->statuses_update('status=Whohoo, I just tweeted!');

⚠️ Make sure to urlencode any parameter values that contain query-reserved characters, like tweeting the & sign:

$reply = $cb->statuses_update('status=' . urlencode('Fish & chips'));
// will result in this:
$reply = $cb->statuses_update('status=Fish+%26+chips');

In most cases, giving all parameters in an array is easier, because no encoding is needed:

$params = array(
    'status' => 'Fish & chips'
$reply = $cb->statuses_update($params);
$params = array(
    'status' => 'I love London',
    'lat'    => 51.5033,
    'long'   => 0.1197
$reply = $cb->statuses_update($params);
$params = array(
    'screen_name' => 'jublonet'
$reply = $cb->users_show($params);

This is the resulting tweet sent with the code above.

Uploading media to Twitter

Tweet media can be uploaded in a 2-step process. First you send each image to Twitter, like this:

// these files to upload. You can also just upload 1 image!
$media_files = array(
    'bird1.jpg', 'bird2.jpg', 'bird3.jpg'
// will hold the uploaded IDs
$media_ids = array();

foreach ($media_files as $file) {
    // upload all media files
    $reply = $cb->media_upload(array(
        'media' => $file
    // and collect their IDs
    $media_ids[] = $reply->media_id_string;

Second, you attach the collected media ids for all images to your call to statuses/update, like this:

// convert media ids to string list
$media_ids = implode(',', $media_ids);

// send tweet with these medias
$reply = $cb->statuses_update(array(
    'status' => 'These are some of my relatives.',
    'media_ids' => $media_ids

Here is a sample tweet sent with the code above.

More documentation for tweeting with media is available on the Twitter Developer site.

Remote files

Remote files received from http and https servers are supported, too:

$reply = $cb->media_upload(array(
    'media' => 'http://www.bing.com/az/hprichbg/rb/BilbaoGuggenheim_EN-US11232447099_1366x768.jpg'

Requests with app-only auth

To send API requests without an access token for a user (app-only auth), add a second parameter to your method call, like this:

$reply = $cb->search_tweets('q=Twitter', true);

Bear in mind that not all API methods support application-only auth.

Mapping API methods to Codebird function calls

As you can see from the last example, there is a general way how Twitters API methods map to Codebird function calls. The general rules are:

  1. For each slash in a Twitter API method, use an underscore in the Codebird function.

    Example: statuses/update maps to Codebird::statuses_update().

  2. For each underscore in a Twitter API method, use camelCase in the Codebird function.

    Example: statuses/home_timeline maps to Codebird::statuses_homeTimeline().

  3. For each parameter template in method, use UPPERCASE in the Codebird function. Also dont forget to include the parameter in your parameter list.


    • statuses/show/:id maps to Codebird::statuses_show_ID('id=12345').
    • users/profile_image/:screen_name maps to Codebird::users_profileImage_SCREEN_NAME('screen_name=jublonet').

HTTP methods (GET, POST, DELETE etc.)

Never care about which HTTP method (verb) to use when calling a Twitter API. Codebird is intelligent enough to find out on its own.

Response codes

The HTTP response code that the API gave is included in any return values. You can find it within the return objects httpstatus property.

Dealing with rate-limits

Basically, Codebird leaves it up to you to handle Twitters rate limit. The library returns the response HTTP status code, so you can detect rate limits.

I suggest you to check if the $reply->httpstatus property is 400 and check with the Twitter API to find out if you are currently being rate-limited. See the Rate Limiting FAQ for more information.

Unless your return format is JSON, you will receive rate-limiting details in the returned datas $reply->rate property, if the Twitter API responds with rate-limiting HTTP headers.

Return formats

The default return format for API calls is a PHP object. For API methods returning multiple data (like statuses/home_timeline), you should cast the reply to array, like this:

$reply = $cb->statuses_homeTimeline();
$data = (array) $reply;

Upon your choice, you may also get PHP arrays directly:


The Twitter API natively responds to API calls in JSON (JS Object Notation). To get a JSON string, set the corresponding return format:


Using multiple Codebird instances

By default, Codebird works with just one instance. This programming paradigma is called a singleton.

Getting the main Codebird object is done like this:

$cb = \Codebird\Codebird::getInstance();

If you need to run requests to the Twitter API for multiple users at once, Codebird supports this as well. Instead of getting the instance like shown above, create a new object:

$cb1 = new \Codebird\Codebird;
$cb2 = new \Codebird\Codebird;

Please note that your OAuth consumer key and secret is shared within multiple Codebird instances, while the OAuth request and access tokens with their secrets are not shared.

How Do I…?

…access a users profile image?

First retrieve the user object using

$reply = $cb->users_show("screen_name=$username");

with $username being the username of the account you wish to retrieve the profile image from.

Then get the value from the index profile_image_url or profile_image_url_https of the user object previously retrieved.

For example:

$reply['profile_image_url'] will then return the profile image url without https.

…get user ID, screen name and more details about the current user?

When the user returns from the authentication screen, you need to trade the obtained request token for an access token, using the OAuth verifier. As discussed in the section Usage example, you use a call to oauth/access_token to do that.

The API reply to this method call tells you details about the user that just logged in. These details contain the user ID and the screen name.

Take a look at the returned data as follows:

stdClass Object
    [oauth_token] => 14648265-rPn8EJwfB**********************
    [oauth_token_secret] => agvf3L3**************************
    [user_id] => 14648265
    [screen_name] => jublonet
    [httpstatus] => 200

If you need to get more details, such as the users latest tweet, you should fetch the complete User Entity. The simplest way to get the user entity of the currently authenticated user is to use the account/verify_credentials API method. In Codebird, it works like this:

$reply = $cb->account_verifyCredentials();

I suggest to cache the User Entity after obtaining it, as the account/verify_credentials method is rate-limited by 15 calls per 15 minutes.

…walk through cursored results?

The Twitter REST API utilizes a technique called cursoring to paginate large result sets. Cursoring separates results into pages of no more than 5000 results at a time, and provides a means to move backwards and forwards through these pages.

Here is how you can walk through cursored results with Codebird.

  1. Get the first result set of a cursored method:
$result1 = $cb->followers_list();
  1. To navigate forth, take the next_cursor_str:
$nextCursor = $result1->next_cursor_str;
  1. If $nextCursor is not 0, use this cursor to request the next result page:
    if ($nextCursor > 0) {
        $result2 = $cb->followers_list('cursor=' . $nextCursor);

To navigate back instead of forth, use the field $resultX->previous_cursor_str instead of next_cursor_str.

It might make sense to use the cursors in a loop. Watch out, though, not to send more than the allowed number of requests to followers/list per rate-limit timeframe, or else you will hit your rate-limit.

…use xAuth with Codebird?

Codebird supports xAuth just like every other authentication used at Twitter. Remember that your application needs to be whitelisted to be able to use xAuth.

Heres an example:

$reply = $cb->oauth_accessToken(array(
    'x_auth_username' => 'username',
    'x_auth_password' => '4h3_p4$$w0rd',
    'x_auth_mode' => 'client_auth'

Are you getting a strange error message? If the user is enrolled in login verification, the server will return a HTTP 401 error with a custom body. If you are using the send_error_codes parameter, you will receive the following error message in the response body:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<error code="231">User must verify login</error>

Otherwise, the response body will contain a plaintext response:

User must verify login

When this error occurs, advise the user to generate a temporary password on twitter.com and use that to complete signing in to the application.

…know what cacert.pem is for?

Connections to the Twitter API are done over a secured SSL connection. Since 2.4.0, codebird-php checks if the Twitter API server has a valid SSL certificate. Valid certificates have a correct signature-chain. The cacert.pem file contains a list of all public certificates for root certificate authorities. You can find more information about this file at http://curl.haxx.se/docs/caextract.html.

…set the timeout for requests to the Twitter API?

For connecting to Twitter, Codebird uses the cURL library, if available. You can specify both the connection timeout and the request timeout, in milliseconds:


If you don't specify the timeout, codebird uses these values:

  • connection time = 3000 ms = 3 s
  • timeout = 10000 ms = 10 s

…disable cURL?

Codebird automatically detects whether you have the PHP cURL extension enabled. If not, the library will try to connect to Twitter via socket. For this to work, the PHP setting allow_url_fopen must be enabled.

You may also manually disable cURL. Use the following call: