by GamesDoneQuick

GitHub Build Status

A microservice which translates Twitter's new WebHook-based Account Activity API into a Socket.IO-based one.



Twitter is sunsetting the old User Streams API.

User Streams will be replaced by the new Account Activity API, which is based on WebHooks. That's great, unless your application is behind a firewall and you can't forward any ports (it specifically has to be port 443), which is the case for the NodeCG instances on-site at GDQ events.

This microservice creates a Socket.IO server which translates these incoming WebHook POSTs into outgoing Socket.IO events. Since Socket.IO connections can be initiated from behind a firewall, the NodeCG instance on-site at GamesDoneQuick is able to connect and receive this realtime stream of events.


This application is written to use a Twitter "application context", as opposed to a "user context".

That means that you will only receive events for the account which created the application at You cannot use to receive events for other accounts, and you can not use it to receive events from multiple accounts at once. You're limited to one account per deployment, and that account must be the owner of the application credentials you use in your deployment.

Pre-Installation Setup

💡 If you already have a Twitter App which is set up for the Account Activity API, you may skip these steps.

  1. Using the account you wish to receive events for, apply for access to Twitter's "Premium" APIs.
  2. Wait 3-5 business days to be approved.
  3. Once approved, create an app at
  4. On the Permissions tab of your App, set "Access" to "Read, Write, and Access direct messages".
    • This is the only access level supported by the new Account Activity API. Any lower access level will not work.
  5. On the "Keys and Access Tokens" tab of your App, generate a Consumer Key, Consumer Secret, Access Token, and Access Token Secret.
    • Ensure that the "Access Level" for both of these is "Read, write, and direct messages"
  6. Save those four strings (Consumer Key, Consumer Secret, Access Token, and Access Token Secret) for later in the setup process.
  7. Go to the "Environments" page of the Twitter Developer Dashboard.
  8. Click "Set up dev environment" under "Account Activity API"
  9. Give it whatever name you like, and save this name for later in the setup process.


  1. Click the "Deploy to Heroku" button at the top of this README.
  2. Fill out the environment variables using the values you created & saved in the steps above.
  3. Click "Deploy app" at the bottom of the page.
  4. Once your app is deployed, go to its "Settings" page and click "Reveal Config Vars"
  5. Note down the automatically-generated SECRET_KEY for later.
  6. Enable Heroku's experimental "dyno metadata" feature be enabled for your deployment of this app.
  7. Restart your deployment by clicking "More" in the top right of your Heroku dashboard, then clicking "Restart all dynos".

It is strongly recommended that you upgrade from the default "Free" dyno to a $7/mo "Hobby" dyno. This will prevent your dyno from sleeping, which could cause it to miss events or have high latency.

Usage (Node.js)

First, you will need to install as a dependency of your Node.js project:

npm install --save

Then, you can set up the socket with code like the following:

const io = require('');
const socket = io.connect('');
socket.on('connect', () => {    
    socket.on('authenticated', () => {
        console.log('Twitter socket authenticated.');
    socket.on('unauthorized', err => {
        console.log('There was an error with the authentication:', err.message);
    socket.on('twitter-webhook-payload', payload => {
    	// `payload` will be an object in the format described here:
    socket.emit('authentication', {preSharedKey: 'your SECRET_KEY from earlier'});


This code is available under the MIT License, which is available to read in the LICENSE file.