Get Recent Tweets with PHP

Get Recent Tweets
There are many different ways to get tweets to display on your blog or web page, unfortunatley most of these use javascript which means thats the tweets displayed are not made available to search engines.

The code below solves that using pure PHP/HTML. The main function is called get_tweets() and takes the following parameters:

  • twitter_id: the id of the twitter stream to read
  • nooftweets: the number of tweets to display (default=3)
  • dateFormat: the format to use when displaying the timestamp (default=D jS M y H:i)
  • includeReplies: whether or not to include @ replies (default=false)
  • dateTimeZone: timezone to use when reading date (default=london)
  • beforeTweetsHtml: html markup before tweets (default=see code below)
  • tweetStartHtml: html markup to begin tweets (default=see code below)
  • tweetMiddleHtml: html markup between tweet text and details (default=see code below)
  • tweetEndHtml: html markup to end tweets (default=see code below)
  • afterTweetsHtml: html markup after tweets (default=see code below)



/** Method to make twitter api call for the users timeline in XML */ 
function twitter_status($twitter_id) {	
	$c = curl_init();
	curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_URL, 
	curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
	curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 3);
	curl_setopt($c, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 5);
	$response = curl_exec($c);
	$responseInfo = curl_getinfo($c);
	if (intval($responseInfo['http_code']) == 200) {
		if (class_exists('SimpleXMLElement')) {
			$xml = new SimpleXMLElement($response);
			return $xml;
		} else {
			return $response;
	} else {
		return false;

/** Method to add hyperlink html tags to any urls, twitter ids or 
	hashtags in the tweet */ 
function processLinks($text) {
	$text = utf8_decode( $text );
	$text = preg_replace('@(https?://([-\w\.]+)+(d+)?(/([\w/_\.]*(\?\S+)?)?)?)@', 
							'<a href="$1">$1</a>',  $text );
	$text = preg_replace("#(^|[\n ])@([^ \"\t\n\r<]*)#ise", 
							"'\\1<a href=\"\\2\" >@\\2</a>'", $text);  
	$text = preg_replace("#(^|[\n ])\#([^ \"\t\n\r<]*)#ise", 
							"'\\1<a href=\"\\2\" >#\\2</a>'", $text);
	return $text;

/** Main method to retrieve the tweets and return html for display */
function get_tweets($twitter_id, 
					$dateFormat="D jS M y H:i", 
					$tweetStartHtml="<li class=\"tweet\"><span class=\"tweet-status\">",
					$tweetMiddleHtml="</span><br/><span class=\"tweet-details\">",
					$afterTweetsHtml="</ul>") {

   	if ( $twitter_xml = twitter_status($twitter_id) ) {
		$result = $beforeTweetsHtml;
		foreach ($twitter_xml->status as $key => $status) {
			if ($includeReplies == true | 
					substr_count($status->text,"@") == 0 | 
					strpos($status->text,"@") != 0) {
				$message = processLinks($status->text);
				if ($i == $nooftweets) break;
	else {
        $result.= $beforeTweetsHtml.
					"<li id='tweet'>Twitter seems to be unavailable at the moment</li>".
    echo $result;


Click here for a working example

One comment on “Get Recent Tweets with PHP

  1. Hi,

    I can’t get this code to work, could you post your working php? I want to make sure I’m defining the twitter user correctly.


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