About collections

About Collections

Collections are a type of timeline that can be controlled and hand-curated, or programmed using an API.

As a unit, collections operate under the following rules:

  • Collections are created by users.
  • Each collection has a name and description.
  • The collection creator can add any public Tweet to the collection.
  • When new Tweets are added, they appear at the top of the collection.
  • Collections are public, have their own URL on twitter.com, and are viewable by all.

By design, collections do not implement specific rules or logic for sourcing or adding Tweets, leaving that strategy entirely up to you. For example if you want a collection that sources Tweets from multiple lists + a search + your own secret sauce, you can build that easily using the API.

Differences with other methods

Those familiar with Twitter’s family of REST APIs may notice some differences in object structure compared to typical APIs.

Pay close attention to the differences in how collections are presented — often they will be decomposed, efficient objects with information about users, Tweets, and timelines grouped, simplified, and stripped of unnecessary repetition.

Navigating collections also differs from the other APIs in that the collection is not strictly creation-time oriented. Navigating by since_id and last_id has been replaced with a position-based pagination system that should still be familiar.

See Response structures for a deeper overview of these differences.

Authenticating Requests

It is important to note that the Twitter API is strict about character encoding in OAuth 1.0a and HTTP. Reserved characters in query strings and application/x-www-form-urlencoded POST bodies must first be encoded according to RFC 3986.

OAuth 1.0a handles requests of other content-types slightly differently. A POST body that is not application/x-www-form-urlencoded is not considered as part of the parameters that will be encoded in the OAuth signature base string. Instead your signature base string will contain only any parameters contained on the query string and the oauth_* parameters that are typically part of the OAuth signature generation process. POST collections / entries / curate uses application/json POST bodies.

Working with the Collections API

Use these methods to browse Collections, whether by ID, those owned by a specific user, or those containing a specific Tweet.

These methods allow you to create, modify, or delete a collection on behalf of the currently authenticated user.

To curate a collection, add or remove Tweets with these methods:

Collections on Twitter.com

Once created, Collections are available to view on twitter.com through a web and mobile-friendly permalink. Collections are meant to be shared with the world! Feel free to Tweet these permalink URLs to share your collection with followers.

Each Collections permalink is indicated in the custom_timeline_url field found in Collection timeline object responses.

Embedded Collections on the Web

Collections are meant to be shared with the world, on and off Twitter. To that end, embedded timelines have been expanded to support embedded collections. Use the widget configurator to prepare your collections for syndication and receive the simple HTML & JavaScript embed code for your site.

National Park Tweets

Accounts with protected Tweets and Collections

Some accounts on Twitter have enabled a setting that “protects” the Tweets they create for an approved audience of followers. Users with protected accounts can still use Collections, but with the following caveats:

  • Protected accounts can create Collections but the Collections they create will be public.
  • Public users can switch to a protected state, but their Collections will remain public.
  • Any user can retrieve/discover Collections belonging to any other user, regardless of the Collection owner’s protected account status.
  • Tweets created by users with protected accounts cannot be included in Collections.