Twitter ‘rate Limited’ Error Message Meaning Explained

Several social media users have reported that a strange error message is appearing on Twitter this week. There is a message stating ‘sorry, rate limited’ on the app as well as the website.

Many people are experiencing a problem when attempting to use Twitter today (March 16th).

Upon loading the website or app, you receive a message that says: “Sorry, you are rate limited. Please wait a moment and try again.”

Users are then forced to leave Twitter and reload it after it fails to load. Some users report that the error prevents them from liking or commenting on tweets.

What does it suggest?

Error messages like this one aren’t new at all and have existed for quite a while. Twitter defined what the message means in a blog post in October 2008.

TweetDeck, for example, is unable to access the Twitter API more th an once an hour due to Twitter limits on how often it can be used. They stated that this is to ensure that users are not overburdened by the use of the API.

Earlier in addition to clarifying that everyone gets 100 API calls per hour, they further explained that this limit applies to your Twitter account rather than to the applications that make the calls.

This is all very confusing unless you’re a data wiz, so all you really need to know is that the ‘rate limited’ error shows up when you make more than 100 API calls in an hour.

A Twitter API call is the process of requesting data from Twitter. In other words, every operation involving Twitter is an API call.

If you post a tweet, send a direct message, unfollow a user, or retweet a tweet, those actions use Twitter’s API rather than requesting data from it and do not count towards your 100 API calls per hour.

Tips for avoiding ‘rate limiting’

It’s not the end of the world if you get a “rate limit exceeded” message. It simply means that Twitter won’t post anything until the hour is over.

The speed limit will not be reset till the new hour begins and some points on Twitter will appear frozen.

However, you can prevent this from happening by taking some steps. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Never use more than one Twitter application at the same time. Even if you’re not using others, make sure they’re closed.
  • Try not to overuse the refresh button – this may earn you 3 calls per click (all Tweets, replies, and DMs).
  • If you lower the overall percentage in the settings window, Twitter API tab to around 60-70%, you’ll receive fewer updates, but you’ll use less API.

You will notice your reset time shown in the right-hand corner of TweetDeck when you receive the ‘rate-limit exceeded’ message. Once the reset time has passed, close and reopen Twitter.

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