Sunday 15 April 2012

Automatically posting updates to Twitter

Automatic tweets from .net!

Anyway...  I wanted to get my website to automatically post updates to twitter because I thought it would be a good way to keep people informed of changes to the site (new articles, videos, that sort of thing) and getting additional links to the website from Twitter is a great tactic for SEO.

1. Get Twitterizer

There is a great open source source .net library for interacting with Twitter called Twitterizer, so the first thing to do is to head over to and download the binaries.  You are going to need Twitterizer2.dll and Newtonsoft.Json.dll, but put them to the side, as there is something important we need to do first.

2. Create a Twitter App

In order for you to post updates to your twitter account you need to create an app in twitter, so goto and sign in with your twitter account. Click on your username on the top right, select my applications and choose create application.

You will need to give your application a name, description, a fully quality URL (e.g.; the call back url isn't required if you only want to post updates.

Once you've created your application you need to the application type to read & write and then authorize your application (if you authorize your application before changing the type you will only have read-only access)

Goto Settings -> Application Type, change the application type to "Read & Write" and update.

Change application type
Goto Details -> Authorize this application and "create my access token".

Authorize this application
You have now got 4 really important keys:
  • Consumer key
  • Consumer secret
  • Access token
  • Access token secret
These keys allow you to interact with your twitter application (consumer key & consumer secret) and update your twitter account (access token & access token secret), so keep them save as you are going to need them.

3. Write some code

Include the Twitterizer dll's (Twitterizer2.dll & Newtonsoft.Json.dll) you downloaded earlier into your .net project.

Create a function to call Twitterizer using your twitter application keys:

using Twitterizer;
public class twitterFunctions
    public void updateTwitterStatus(string twitterStatusUpdate)
        OAuthTokens tokens = new OAuthTokens();
        tokens.AccessToken = "access token";
        tokens.AccessTokenSecret = "access token secret";
        tokens.ConsumerKey = "consumer key";
        tokens.ConsumerSecret = "consumer secret";

        TwitterResponse<TwitterStatus> tweetResponse 
            = TwitterStatus.Update(tokens, twitterStatusUpdate);
        if (tweetResponse.Result != RequestResult.Success)
            // Something went wrong! raise an exception

Call the updateTwitterStatus method from your application passing in a new update for twitter as a string and thats it!

twitterFunctions.updateTwitterStatus("StuffAboutCode rocks");

4. Jobs a good un!

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