Managing Tweepy API Search

I originally worked out a solution based on Yuva Raj’s suggestion to use additional parameters in GET search/tweets – the max_id parameter in conjunction with the id of the last tweet returned in each iteration of a loop that also checks for the occurrence of a TweepError.

However, I discovered there is a far simpler way to solve the problem using a tweepy.Cursor (see tweepy Cursor tutorial for more on using Cursor).

The following code fetches the most recent 1000 mentions of 'python'.

import tweepy
# assuming contains each of the 4 oauth elements (1 per line)
from twitter_authentication import API_KEY, API_SECRET, ACCESS_TOKEN, ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET

auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(API_KEY, API_SECRET)
auth.set_access_token(ACCESS_TOKEN, ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET)

api = tweepy.API(auth)

query = 'python'
max_tweets = 1000
searched_tweets = [status for status in tweepy.Cursor(, q=query).items(max_tweets)]

Update: in response to Andre Petre’s comment about potential memory consumption issues with tweepy.Cursor, I’ll include my original solution, replacing the single statement list comprehension used above to compute searched_tweets with the following:

searched_tweets = []
last_id = -1
while len(searched_tweets) < max_tweets:
    count = max_tweets - len(searched_tweets)
        new_tweets =, count=count, max_id=str(last_id - 1))
        if not new_tweets:
        last_id = new_tweets[-1].id
    except tweepy.TweepError as e:
        # depending on TweepError.code, one may want to retry or wait
        # to keep things simple, we will give up on an error

Leave a Comment