Expose Email Addresses via Twitter API

One of the most popular posts that I wrote previously for my blog was regarding the Twitter API and email addresses. That post has since been permanently archived and is no longer available It seems as though this topic is very popular among new developers to the Twitter ecosystem. In this post, I’m going to revisit that topic once again.

How do I get the email address of a user using the Twitter API?

This is a very simple question to answer. You can’t.

Why are email addresses not available via the Twitter API?

There is not a single reason why Twitter should hand over the email addresses of its users to anyone. Any application that you develop should explicitly ask the user the input their email address, clearly stating why you believe you need it.

User addresses are private, just like telephone numbers. The only need for email addresses to be exposed via the API is for spam harvesting which is a big no-no.

I want to keep my application users informed about changes

This is a reasonable thought, but consider the viewpoint of your users. The will follow the account associated with your application for news and updates. Users will also expect to find news, updates and important content via your application.

Will Twitter ever open up the API to disclose email addresses?

No, and that’s a good thing.