Tutorials

Create A Dead Simple Twitter Feed with jQuery + PHP + OAuth (Updated)

Written by Kevin Liew on 12 Apr 2016
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136 comments

In this tutorial, we will be creating a jQuery script that retrieve twitter tweets from user account. It's quick and easy, come with link, hash tag, alias parser as well as time posted (calculated relatively). Most importantly, everything has a class and will be flexible to style and match your design!

This is an old post that I created long time ago, but it hasn't been updated ever since Twitter moved on from the old API. Now I decided to spend some time to fine tune it and added a layer of PHP with OAuth authentication to retrieve tweets. I also added the capability to display media for the tweet.

To retrieve tweets from user timeline, we will be using statuses/user_timeline public API from Twitter. To make the OAuth authentication painless, we're using this third party PHP-Twitter API wrapper caled Twitter for PHP.

You will need to sign in to the Twitter and register an application from the Twitter App page to get teh required consumer keys and access tokens. Remember to never reveal your consumer secrets. Click on My Access Token link from the sidebar and retrieve your own access token. Now you have consumer key, consumer secret, access token and access token secret.

We will use links/hashtag/alias script to format Tweet's hashtag, aliases. This is the screenshot of text and image tweets:

HTML

We need a simple HTML layout, linked with jQuery framework and twitter script. Also, a div with id called "jstwitter" - we will be appending all tweets from twitter server, processed it and chuck it inside.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
<head>
	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8" />
	<title></title>
	<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.1/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
	<script src="twitter.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
	
	<div id="jstwitter">
	</div>
	
</body>
</html>

CSS

We made a quick and clean layout. However, you can style the following elements:

  • .twtr-hashtag: #abc
  • .twtr-hyperlink: hyperlink
  • .twtr-atreply: #abc
  • .time: relative time (10 minutes ago)
body {
  background:#bae0f6;
  font-size:14px;
  font-family: 'Helvetica', arial, sans-serif;
}

* {
  -webkit-box-sizing:border-box;
  -moz-box-sizing:border-box;
  box-sizing:border-box;
}

#jstwitter {
	width: 300px;
	font-size: 15px;
	color: #333333;
  margin: 0 auto;
  text-align:center;
}

#jstwitter .tweet {
	margin: 0 auto 15px auto;
	padding: 15px;
	border-radius:3px;
  background:#ffffff;
  text-align:left;
  box-shadow: 0 0 2px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.1);
}

#jstwitter .tweet a {
	text-decoration: none;
	color: #13c9d0;
}

#jstwitter .tweet a:hover {
	text-decoration: underline;
}

#jstwitter img {
  display:block;
  margin-bottom:5px;
  max-width:100%;
}

#jstwitter .tweet .time {
	font-size: 10px;
	font-style: italic;
	color: #666666;
  display:block;
  margin-top:3px;
}

Javascript

Alright, javascript. We will divide it into 3 sections:

  • loadTweets: This is how we retrieve tweets. We use AJAX to call a PHP Twitter API wrapper which will return data in JSON format. This function retrieves and processes it.
  • timeAgo: Relative calculator from twitter.
  • ify: Convert twitter hashtag, alias, and links into hyperlinks.
JQTWEET = {
	
	// Set twitter username, number of tweets & id/class to append tweets
	user: 'quenesswebblog',
	numTweets: 5,
	appendTo: '#jstwitter',

	// core function of jqtweet
	loadTweets: function() {
		$.ajax({
			url: 'tweets.php',
			type: 'post',
			dataType: 'json',
			data: {
				q: JQTWEET.user,
				count: JQTWEET.numTweets,
        api: 'statuses/user_timeline'
			},
			success: function(data, textStatus, xhr) {

        var html = '<div class="tweet">TWEET_IMGTWEET_TEXT<div class="time">AGO</div>';

				// append tweets into page
				for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
          
					$(JQTWEET.appendTo).append(
						html.replace('TWEET_TEXT', JQTWEET.ify.clean(data[i].text))
							.replace(/USER/g, data[i].user.screen_name)
							.replace('AGO', JQTWEET.timeAgo(data[i].created_at))
							.replace(/ID/g, data[i].id_str)
              .replace('TWEET_IMG', (data[i].entities.media && data[i].entities.media.length ? '<img src="' + data[i].entities.media[0].media_url + '"/>': ''))
					);

				}					
			}	

		});
		
	}, 
	
		
	/**
      * relative time calculator FROM TWITTER
      * @param {string} twitter date string returned from Twitter API
      * @return {string} relative time like "2 minutes ago"
      */
    timeAgo: function(dateString) {
		var rightNow = new Date();
		var then = new Date(dateString);
		
		if ($.browser.msie) {
			// IE can't parse these crazy Ruby dates
			then = Date.parse(dateString.replace(/( \+)/, ' UTC$1'));
		}

		var diff = rightNow - then;

		var second = 1000,
		minute = second * 60,
		hour = minute * 60,
		day = hour * 24,
		week = day * 7;

		if (isNaN(diff) || diff < 0) {
			return ""; // return blank string if unknown
		}

		if (diff < second * 2) {
			// within 2 seconds
			return "right now";
		}

		if (diff < minute) {
			return Math.floor(diff / second) + " seconds ago";
		}

		if (diff < minute * 2) {
			return "about 1 minute ago";
		}

		if (diff < hour) {
			return Math.floor(diff / minute) + " minutes ago";
		}

		if (diff < hour * 2) {
			return "about 1 hour ago";
		}

		if (diff < day) {
			return  Math.floor(diff / hour) + " hours ago";
		}

		if (diff > day && diff < day * 2) {
			return "yesterday";
		}

		if (diff < day * 365) {
			return Math.floor(diff / day) + " days ago";
		}

		else {
			return "over a year ago";
		}
	}, // timeAgo()
    
	
    /**
      * The Twitalinkahashifyer!
      * http://www.dustindiaz.com/basement/ify.html
      * Eg:
      * ify.clean('your tweet text');
      */
    ify:  {
      link: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/\b(((https*\:\/\/)|www\.)[^\"\']+?)(([!?,.\)]+)?(\s|$))/g, function(link, m1, m2, m3, m4) {
          var http = m2.match(/w/) ? 'http://' : '';
          return '<a class="twtr-hyperlink" target="_blank" href="' + http + m1 + '">' + ((m1.length > 25) ? m1.substr(0, 24) + '...' : m1) + '</a>' + m4;
        });
      },

      at: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/\B[@@]([a-zA-Z0-9_]{1,20})/g, function(m, username) {
          return '<a target="_blank" class="twtr-atreply" href="http://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=' + username + '">@' + username + '</a>';
        });
      },

      list: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/\B[@@]([a-zA-Z0-9_]{1,20}\/\w+)/g, function(m, userlist) {
          return '<a target="_blank" class="twtr-atreply" href="http://twitter.com/' + userlist + '">@' + userlist + '</a>';
        });
      },

      hash: function(tweet) {
        return tweet.replace(/(^|\s+)#(\w+)/gi, function(m, before, hash) {
          return before + '<a target="_blank" class="twtr-hashtag" href="http://twitter.com/search?q=%23' + hash + '">#' + hash + '</a>';
        });
      },

      clean: function(tweet) {
        return this.hash(this.at(this.list(this.link(tweet))));
      }
    } // ify

	
};



$(document).ready(function () {
    // start jqtweet!
    JQTWEET.loadTweets();
});

PHP

Ever since Twitter moved on from REST 1.0, the most secure implementation if using server-side language because you need to specify consumer key, consumer secret key and access tokens. You need to be authenticated in order to access the API too. Thankfully, there's a lot of PHP library available to make this simple.

We're going to use Twitter for PHP. Here's the source for PHP side, a very simple implementation:

<?php

require_once 'twitter-php/twitter.class.php';

//Twitter OAuth Settings, enter your settings here:
$CONSUMER_KEY = '...';
$CONSUMER_SECRET = '...';
$ACCESS_TOKEN = '...';
$ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET = '...';

$twitter = new Twitter($CONSUMER_KEY, $CONSUMER_SECRET, $ACCESS_TOKEN, $ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET);

// retrieve data
$q = $_POST['q'];
$count = $_POST['count'];
$api = $_POST['api'];

// api data
$params = array(
	'screen_name' => $q,
	'q' => $q,
	'count' => 20,
  'includes_rts' => true
);

$results = $twitter->request($api, 'GET', $params);

// output as JSON
echo json_encode($results);
?>

Conclusion

No doubt, twitter is one of the hottest social media, so I hope this tutorial will able to help you to display your own tweets in your website. If you like it, please help me to spread it :) Thanks!

Demo Download
Join the discussion

Comments will be moderated and rel="nofollow" will be added to all links. You can wrap your coding with [code][/code] to make use of built-in syntax highlighter.

136 comments
Clement 5 years ago
Hello, I'm using Tweetsharp to get and display my mentions which is working ok. However I need to linkify my tweets such that the handles and hashtags link back to twitter and theURLs are linkified as well. How do I adapt your javascript to my asp Mvc3 project?
Reply
Kevin Liew Admin 5 years ago
Hi Clement, if you look at the javascript line 111, that's the function to linkify hashtags, links and username. You can take that part and adapt it to your script.
Reply
Dom 5 years ago
This code isn't working in Chrome when hosted but does work locally. It is fine with mozilla and safari. Any simple updates?
Reply
Russ 5 years ago
How do I get the authors Profile pic to show next to the tweet with this script?
Thank In Advance!!!
Reply
Kevin Admin 5 years ago
Fabio 5 years ago
Nice tutorial. Really appreciate this. Thanks for sharing!
Reply
Alexey 5 years ago
mmmm, i have faced with the conflict of 2 JS files (customs.js and your twitter.js).
Reply
Matthias 5 years ago
Sweeeeet!. You just save me many hours research and development time.
Reply
nilanjan 5 years ago
Don't you need to follow twitter guidelines to display tweets? I think the guidelines are quite detailed. Not sure.....
Reply
Thomas 5 years ago
How would you modify this to display hashtags?
Reply
Veera 5 years ago
This method works no longer... API v1.0 died. Please update the post, so that we will know what is the solution.
Reply
kalyan 5 years ago
Hay,

This is not working. API 1.1 requires authentication. But you didn't mention that any where!
Reply
Kevin Admin 5 years ago
Hi Kalyan, we did mention it. Please check the top part of this article.
Reply
Dom 5 years ago
My twitter feed has dropped out. I think it is because I am using a fader from Simon Battersby also running jQuery. http://www.simonbattersby.com/blog/simple-jquery-image-crossfade/

Could you advice which jQuery to run to get both of these to run?
Reply
Kevin Admin 5 years ago
I think it's caused by twitter updated its API. You need OAuth authentication to use it now.

Here is the updated tutorial.
http://www.queness.com/post/14004/easiest-way-to-retrieve-twitter-timeline-and-hashtags-twitter-oauth-api-11
Reply
Fabio 5 years ago
Now the script in my site not work... why ?
Also your demo not work....
Reply
Thomas Cober 5 years ago
I was using this one because it didn't involve any server side stuff, but twitter's new API has rendered it pretty useless. Is there any easy fix?
Reply
Kevin Admin 5 years ago
You need this new article: http://bit.ly/WABOn9
Reply
Thomas Cober 5 years ago
Is there a way to do it without server side stuff?
Reply
Kevin Admin 5 years ago
Unfortunately with OAuth, it has to be done through server-side language.
Reply