Twitter Bots

Twitter Bots, since I learned of their existence, have always fascinated me. They can range from the bizarre to the useful, and more often than not, they are hilarious. I had always wanted to build one, but I had never had the time or any good ideas to make one. But when I started working at elPeriódico I saw the opportunity to dive into the world of twitter bots and news. However, this was going to be my first time trying to program something like this.

My first step was to search online for any useful tips and tutorials on how to actually do it. One of the best resources I found was the Botwiki, which had an entire page with all the different tutorials on how to build twitter bots with different programing languages. I decided to focus on the ones that used Python because that was the language I had more familiarity with, but maybe in the future I would like to experiment with Node.Js or Ruby on Rails.

Although my ultimate goal is to develop a bot for the newspaper, I needed to start with the most simple bot I could built and with the help this tutorial for beginners, I was able to build @Swift_Kanye, a twitter bot that combines the twitter feeds of both Taylor Swift and Kanye West, which ended up being a really funny bot.

Now I am researching ways on how to program bots that are able to scrape the web to tweet and reply with the top searches on google of the day. I haven’t gotten to far yet on this part of the project, but hopefully more people from the IT department will be joining this project in the upcoming weeks, which will be really helpful.

So far we have just delved on the idea of making a simple twitter bot for elPeriódico, but in our future plans we hope to build with different characteristics for other social media platforms such as Slack and Facebook. I will keep updating this post as we continue to work on this project.