How I Made a Twitterbot with Node.js

The other day, I decided to make a Twitterbot to help streamline my marketing efforts for my art brand. I wanted to make a bot that would retweet tweets from a different user, selected from a list of users. I wanted the bot to also run once a day.

For my project, I used the following:

  • Node.js
  • twit – Twitter API client for Node.js
  • Heroku – platform for deployed applications

Creating an Application with Twitter

To get started, I used the Twitter application form to register my application. The process is pretty straight forward, and once it was completed, I was able to grab the necessary consumer_key, consumer_secret, access_token, and access_token_secret.

Building the Bot

To get started with Node.js, I created a new project directory. Then I ran npm init.

I ran the following commands to ensure I had the right packages to build the application:

npm install --save dotenv http twit

Next, I created the environment variables. I created a .env file in the directory, where I added in my project keys:


In my index.js file, I connected the .env variables to the application:

const config = {
  consumer_key: process.env.CONSUMER_KEY,
  consumer_secret: process.env.CONSUMER_SECRET,
  access_token: process.env.ACCESS_TOKEN,
  access_token_secret: process.env.ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET

Then I added logic so the bot would retweet tweets from a list of users or retweet tweets tied to specific hashtags. First I set variables to use twit and to control the number of retweets the bot would make when the code was executed:

const twit = require("twit");
const Twitter = new twit(config);
const MAX_RT_COUNT = 1;

I found the Twitter ids for several users that I wanted to the bot to retweet. I used their ids instead of their screen names, in case a user decided to change their screen name. In order to keep track of who was who, I stored details about each user in a comment:

const USERS = [
  "15057943", // moma
  "14803372", // saam
  "5225991", // tate
  "22009731", // design museum
  "81783051", // artsy
  "17896874", // itsnicethat
  "158865339", // fastcodesign
  "21661279", // creative review
  "16336998", // print magazine
  "17623957", // design observer
  "418597196", // creativebloq
  "15446126", // design milk
  "18201801", // interior design
  "19038849" // how design

I made a function that would filter through the list of users, so that each day of the week, a different user would get a retweet from the bot:

const getUserOfTheDay = () => {
  let date = new Date();
  let dayOfMonth = date.getDate();
  let pickUserIndex = dayOfMonth % USERS.length;
  return USERS[pickUserIndex];

Next, I created the logic for retweeting tweets tied to different hashtags. I ultimately decided not to deploy this functionality, but I wanted to keep it around in case it’s useful in the future:

let retweetTags = async function() {
  try {
    const { data } = await Twitter.get("search/tweets", {
      q: "#art, #painting",
      result_type: "mixed",
      lang: "en"

    const statuses = data.statuses.slice(0, MAX_RT_COUNT);
    // loop through the first n returned tweets
    for (const status of statuses) {
      // the post action
      const response = await"statuses/retweet/:id", {
        id: status.id_str
      if (response) {
        console.log("Successfully retweeted");
  } catch (err) {
    // catch all log if the search/retweet could not be executed
    console.error("Err:", err);

// retweetTags();

Lastly, I added the code for retweeting tweets from my list of users:

let retweetUsers = async function() {
  try {
    const { data } = await Twitter.get("users/show", {
      user_id: getUserOfTheDay()

    const status = data.status;
    // make sure tweet isn't in reply to another user
    if (status.in_reply_to_status_id == null) {
      const response = await"statuses/retweet/:id", {
        id: status.id_str
      if (response) {
        console.log("Successfully retweeted");
  } catch (err) {
    // catch all log if the search/retweet could not be executed
    console.error("Err:", err);

To run the bot locally, I added retweetUsers(); to the file, then ran node index.js in the terminal.

Deploying the App to Heroku

Once I had my app up and running locally, I wanted to deploy it somewhere so it could run automatically. I did this by deploying it to Heroku.

I added a Procfile to the project, and added the line worker: node index.js to the file. Then I created a new Heroku project by running heroku create twitterbot-retweet. Next, I had to define the environment variables in Heroku by running heroku set:config key_name="key_value" in the terminal.

By accessing the Heroku dashboard online, I had to toggle on the worker for the bot (it was located under the “Dyno formation” section).

After deploying the bot, I realized I wanted the bot to run once every day, so I looked into options for how I could wake the application up once a day in order to execute the code. I ended up going with the simple setInterval method.

If your curious about how all the code looks, or want to see an up-to-date version of the project, you can find it on GitHub.

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