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Getting started with the Twitter API may seem a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite straightforward. There are a number of libraries for common languages that make the process quite easy. Twitter’s API documentation has also improved greatly over time.

This tutorial will walk through the steps required to implement a Web application in Python that makes calls to the Twitter REST API; we are using Twitter as the first example given its huge popularity as a social networking service and the fact that many apps and websites integrate with the Twitter API to add social or near real-time functionality.