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I have been told by a development partner that we cannot use the normal Twitter search widget - found here - https://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets/widget_search because of the API rate limit. My understanding is that the rate limit applies to the API as used by app developers, and not to the official widgets. Who is correct?

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This page - http://dev.twitter.com/pages/rate-limiting - has information on this (important stuff highlighted in bold below)

Requests to the Search API, hosted on search.twitter.com, do not count towards the REST API limit. However, all requests coming from an IP address are applied to a Search Rate Limit.

The Search Rate Limit isn't made public to discourage unnecessary search usage and abuse, but it is higher than the REST Rate Limit.

We feel the Search Rate Limit is both liberal and sufficient for most applications and know that many application vendors have found it suitable for their needs.

The API limit is linked to an IP address but does allow 150 requests per hour.

OAuth calls are permitted 350 requests per hour.

Also see; https://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/114-guidelines-best-practices/articles/15364-about-twitter-limits-update-api-dm-and-following

Hope this helps

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Thanks for this - I had seen it before but it wasn't clear whether the use of the term Search API referred to application-based requests, thereby excusing their own search widget or not. In fact I had a reply to this question from @twitterapi themselves which backs up your answer: "the Search API rate limits apply to the Search widget, but not the REST API limits." (twitter.com/status/78156044219588608) –  Hugo Rodger-Brown Jun 9 '11 at 7:34

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