Over all, the new format is a good move, but there was something lost in the shuffle. I’m not sure how many people noticed – but your profile stream RSS feed was removed in the new format.
For most people, that probably doesn’t matter. Your Twitter homepage is pretty much a syndicated feed of easily digestible news bytes already. It’s also usually more effective to use the Twitter API when you want to use Twitter content on other sites. Why would you need to bother plugging tweets into an RSS reader?
Whether using an RSS reader is your preferred method of reading news online, or like me, you have technical reasons for needing an RSS feed of Twitter content (I use Twitter RSS feeds to plug Twitter accounts into a variety of mobile applications I’ve built), it can be valuable to have the option to read Tweets as an RSS feed.
For those of us that need the Twitter RSS, the good news is that Twitter hasn’t deprecated the functionality. They just haven’t made it a public option in the new profile format.
So, if you want to get your or any other Twitter user’s tweets as an RSS feed, follow these steps:
How To Find Your Twitter RSS Feed
UPDATE: a recent commenter provided me with another simple method of finding your Twitter account RSS feed, and I wanted to share both.
Method 1: RSS Feed by User ID
- All Twitter account RSS feeds are written in this format: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/(User Account ID).rss.
- If you happen to know the Account ID of the user you want to follow, you just have to plug in the right number where I’ve written (User Account ID) and you should be good to go. See a completed example below. If you don’t know the ID you’re after, read the following steps.
- To find Twitter account IDs, the easiest method is to use ID from User. Type in the user name of the account that you’re interested in following, and this cool little tool will automatically generate the Twitter account ID you need.
- Again, finish off by inserting the ID that you just found into the Twitter RSS URL and you’re all set
As an example, we can look at my Twitter Account. My User ID is 213772242. By adding that to the generic Twitter RSS URL, we get: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/213772242.rss
Method 2: RSS Feed by User Name
- A second method involves this standard URL: https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=(User Name)
- By replacing where I’ve written (User Name) with the user name of whatever person you want to follow, you can again find a simple way of rendering their tweets as an RSS Feed
- I will point out that Twitter user names can be changed, so if you or the person you’re following changes their user name, your RSS feed will stop working. Because User IDs are static, you may want to continue to use Method 1 to create your RSS feeds, despite the fact it is slightly more complicated. That way, you are guaranteed to have a properly working RSS Feed as long as the account is active.
Let’s take a look at my Twitter Account RSS feed using Method 2, to see what a properly formed URL looks like: https://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=brentlandels
You’re now ready to find generate an RSS feed for any Twitter account out there and begin syndicating that content.
Interested in improving your Twitter knowledge a little bit more? Read my article on The Best Times to Tweet, Blog and Email to capture the widest audience you can.