* 06/2014 UPDATE
Thanks to Ivan for pointing out that the siteUrl is now ‘https://api.twitter.com/oauth’. Make sure to use this new value anywhere where the siteUrl is mentioned below.
I recently had to work on a project that required me to interact with the Twitter API. I had done this before so I wasn’t expecting anything different until I remembered that Twitter had changed their API to start using OAuth for authentication. If you are not familiar with OAuth, it’s a secure way of authenticating without requiring a user to submit their username and password to third-parties – you can read more about it at OAuth. There are lots of resources online that talk about this in detail but I wasn’t able to find one that explained the entire process in a way that made sense. Hopefully this post will give you everything you need to get started with the Twitter API. I’m going to go through the steps required to make this work without using the entire zend framework.
This tutorial will go step-by-step in explaining how to create a small PHP application that can interact with the Twitter API. Our goal is to:
- Display our latest tweets
- Post new tweets from PHP
- Display the last few times our account was mentioned
The only assumptions at this point (other than knowing PHP) is that you have a twitter account and the zend framework library downloaded. We won’t be using the entire framework, just some of the files as standalone modules.
Registering An App
The first step in being able to communicate with the Twitter API is to register an app in their system so you can receive all the necessary keys to authenticate with OAuth. Go to dev.twitter.com and log in with your Twitter account. Now click on ‘register an app’ (if that link is not visible then click on ‘your apps’ on the top right and then click on ‘register an app’ in the next page). These are the values I put in the form on the next page for my app. Feel free to follow along. I’ll explain the important inputs.
Application: Joey’s Blog Example
Description: Twitter PHP App
Application Website: http://www.joeyrivera.com
Application Type: Browser
Callback URL: http://www.joeyrivera.com/twitter/callback.php
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