Saturday, December 15, 2012

View Twitter profile images

A while ago I've noticed that Twitter changed their design for the users images.
Previewing an image, we used to have the option to receive a picture grid of all the images the user posted however it seems that Twitter disabled the feature allowing visitors to view one image at a time.
The missing grid view is a pain and a lot of people want it back as seen in this support thread at Twitter:

So I made a decision to create an application that will let me get a profiles images easily.

The Obvious way to go about programming this is using the Twitter API (after reading the documentation of course :-) ).
I've notice two Twitter api functions that allow us to reach our goal using the plain and simple HTTP GET protocol.

1 -
The user_ timeline.xml command returns a simple XML file with the recent tweets.
The function supports additional parameters like count that allows you top specify the max amount of tweets to receive and trim_user that removes appended user data.
Xml result from the Twitter user_timeline function

Notice that for each tweet we get the tweet id and the tweet text.

2 -
The show.xml function receives a tweet id and returns the XML description.
Like most functions on twitter, the function supports additional parameters the most important one for us is the include_entities that can show us if any media links exist in the tweet allowing us to take the link and display it.
Xml result from the Twitter show function
When testing my application I found a big problem.
Twitter limits unauthenticated requests to 150 per hour and each of our GET REQUEST's counts as one. Reference 
That means we can only check under 150 tweets for images and this really limits us.
I tried registering and application with Twitter and authenticating a user for the requests but the limit seems to be final.
The only option a saw to bypass the limit is not use the Twitter API and to do some HTML scraping.

I created a simple form allowing the user to enter the twitter username he want to retrieve images of.

Once selected I used the first URL on this post figuring that for now 150 user requests per hour was enough. The result is an XML file with up to 200 status nodes.

I iterate through all of the status texts looking for links.
Twitter changes all posted links (for media files uploaded too) to the twitter format of
to check we can use a regular expression
Match m = Regex.Match(TweetText, @"(?<twitterURL><subdir>[^\s]*)");

If we found a link we cant just download since there will be a redirection from twitter to the location of the original link. In order to capture the actual image we send an HTTP HEAD request to get the redirect URL like the following:
    var request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(new Uri(@"" + m.Groups["subdir"].Value));
    request.Method = "HEAD";
    request.AllowAutoRedirect = false;
    string location;
    using (var response = request.GetResponse() as HttpWebResponse)  

         location = response.GetResponseHeader("Location");

Upon receiving the new location we can notice that we are not redirected to the image itself but to a web page displaying the image.

Currently I support two types of images, hosted on twitter (URL starts with and contains /photo/ ) or hosted on instagram (URL starts with
To finish our scraping session we need to find on the web page the correct image tag.
For twitter, the img tag class attribute has the value "large media-slideshow-image".
For instagram, the img tag class attribute has the value "photo".

Since all of the code up to this point was self written, I didn't want to use the HTML Agility Pack or a different third party component. So using regular expressions again I write the GetImageTags function
        private List<ImgTag> GetImageTags(String html)
            List<ImgTag> imgTags = new List<ImgTag>();
            MatchCollection m1 = Regex.Matches(html, @"(<img.*?>.*?>)", RegexOptions.Singleline);
            foreach (Match m in m1)
                string value = m.Groups[1].Value;
                ImgTag imgTag = new ImgTag();
                Match m2 = Regex.Match(value, @"src=\""(.*?)\""", RegexOptions.Singleline);
                if (m2.Success)
                    imgTag.src = m2.Groups[1].Value;                   
                m2 = Regex.Match(value, @"class=\""(.*?)\""", RegexOptions.Singleline);
                if (m2.Success)
                    imgTag.classAtt = m2.Groups[1].Value;
            return imgTags;

If we retrieve the src attribute value, all we have left to do is download the image.

You can get the Twitter image downloader application at my codeplex project page
Take a look at the source code. Recommendations and remarks welcome.

Update 29/6/2013 : I've updated the project to support the Twitter API Ver. 1.1.
That should fix the crash issue that occurred when fetching the images.

Twitter Image Downloader


  1. Great!
    However it's only checking for the last 200 tweets. I just modified it to check for 3200 which is twitters maximum. Gonna post it on the codeplex site. (Maybe I'll add an option to choose how many tweets it should check because it takes pretty long for 3200)

    1. Where did you post it? Link?

    2. I finished it some time ago - but didn't release it. Now twitter updated it API (in a pretty shitty way) so I have to fix some stuff and will release it on the codeplex site. I also just saw that CBTL already got that working so it hopefully won't take long. It also has some other extra features besides up to 3200 pics.

  2. after showing the photos how i can download the photo that i want?

  3. Hi Anonymous,
    The Demo App downloads the images automatically to the local folder where the application was launched from.

  4. Where is the modified version with the 3200 max? Thank you.

    1. Updates on the 3200 max version?

    2. I finished it some time ago - but didn't release it. Now twitter updated it API (in a pretty shitty way) so I have to fix some stuff and will release it on the codeplex site. I also just saw that CBTL already got that working so it hopefully won't take long. It also has some other extra features besides up to 3200 pics.

  5. Great software!
    I'd be keen to get the 3200 max version too. Any news on a link to a compiled version?

    1. I'll update it with the new max version next week scott

  6. Don't work now :(
    It works great before, but now just launched and after clicking on Download button crashed :(
    OS: Win 8 x64

    1. darkpaska, thanks for the heads up.
      It seems that twitter stopped supporting the twitter API ver. 1.0.
      I've updated the app to work with the newer 1.1 API so if you download the new version it should work for you.

  7. Nice app. Thanks and questions from this *NON*-developer:
    1. Could you overcome the 3200 limitation using the Streaming API?
    2. Could I use your App + MY Public Twitter API (if there is such a thing) to overcome the 3200 limit? I ask because some sites, like VirusTotal, make this a possibility to prevent apps, like X-Ray by, from exceeding request limits.


  8. Awesome program dudes (y). But there's prob. The downloads a limited to like 20 images. Please find a solution. Cheers

  9. No funciona, sale el mensaje "Done" y no aparece ninguna imágen, ninguna carpeta, es basura.

  10. Try Sone Image Downloader, it also downloads all Instagrams and works with the current Twitter API -

  11. any updates about it in 2014 ? which is roadmap ? project is dead ?

  12. how to use this?
    when I click download it doesn't work

  13. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. 야설
    Feel free to visit my blog :

  14. Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and in depth information you offer. It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed material. Fantastic read! I've bookmarked your site 일본야동
    Feel free to visit my blog : 일본야동


  15. This web site certainly has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask. 국산야동
    Feel free to visit my blog : 국산야동

  16. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. 일본야동
    Feel free to visit my blog : e 일본야동

  17. Ucuz, kaliteli ve organik sosyal medya hizmetleri satın almak için Ravje Medyayı tercih edebilir ve sosyal medya hesaplarını hızla büyütebilirsin. Ravje Medya ile sosyal medya hesaplarını organik ve gerçek kişiler ile geliştirebilir, kişisel ya da ticari hesapların için Ravje Medyayı tercih edebilirsin. Ravje Medya internet sitesine giriş yapmak için hemen tıkla:

    İnstagram takipçi satın almak için Ravje Medya hizmetlerini tercih edebilir, güvenilir ve gerçek takipçilere Ravje Medya ile ulaşabilirsin. İnstagram takipçi satın almak artık Ravje Medya ile oldukça güvenilir. Hemen instagram takipçi satın almak için Ravje Medyanın ilgili sayfasını ziyaret et: instagram takipçi satın al

    Tiktok takipçi satın al istiyorsan tercihini Ravje Medya yap! Ravje Medya uzman kadrosu ve profesyonel ekibi ile sizlere Tiktok takipçi satın alma hizmetide sunmaktadır. Tiktok takipçi satın almak için hemen tıkla: tiktok takipçi satın al

    İnstagram beğeni satın almak için Ravje medya instagram beğeni satın al sayfasına giriş yap, hızlı ve kaliteli instagram beğeni satın al: instagram beğeni satın al

    Youtube izlenme satın al sayfası ile hemen youtube izlenme satın al! Ravje medya kalitesi ile hemen youtube izlenme satın almak için tıklayın: youtube izlenme satın al

    Twitter takipçi satın almak istiyorsan Ravje medya twitter takipçi satın al sayfasına tıkla, Ravje medya güvencesi ile organik twitter takipçi satın al: twitter takipçi satın al

  18. Hello there! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Thank you!


  19. İnstagram takipçi satın al! İnstagram takipçi sitesi ile takipçi satın al sende sosyal medyada fenomen olmaya bir adım at. Sende hemen instagram takipçi satın almak istiyorsan tıkla:

    1- takipçi satın al

    2- takipçi satın al

    3- takipçi satın al

  20. Congratulations on your article, it was very helpful and successful. 0dbb3a30c1bab5c5bdf940ab6d2e62cc
    website kurma
    sms onay
    numara onay

  21. Thank you for your explanation, very good content. 273afb2ecedbd7eb83a3b3cacab22658
    define dedektörü

  22. Thanks for your article. c8acfdcf0c8ff27200ae49775b560f1e
    evden iş imkanı

  23. For those who want to press their luck anyway, make certain to stop while you’re forward. That successful streak you’re on is certainly all in your head. Although casinos could earn some cash from meals, leisure, and different venues, the breadwinner for the industry is the video games. A significant slice of on line casino earnings are outcome of|the results of} the accrual of all the losses from on line casino patrons each year. Slot machine odds are some of the the} worst, ranging from a one-in-5,000 to one-in-about-34-million chance of successful the top prize when utilizing the utmost 우리카지노 coin play. However, the percentages can range since ability and luck are critical to successful at poker.