Fixing a Broken Twitter Feed in the Google Reader Lifestream Archive

A week or so ago I noticed that my Twitter feed had stopped updating in in Google Reader and because I use Google Reader as an archive for my Lifestream that meant that new tweets weren’t showing up.  After assuming that this was some sort of Twitter functionality rollback or a mistake that I was making I finally found the answer.  It seems that twitter RSS feeds now require authentication.  That means that if you subscribe to a twitter feed and view it with a reader that does not support authentication (like Google Reader) you’ll see 20 tweets, but won’t get any updates.
So does this mean the end for including Twitter in a Google Lifestream Archive? Nope, there’s an easy fix.  FreeMyFeed is a service that will take your feed that requires authentication and by adding your user name and password will give you a new feed that doesn’t require authentication.  So here’s what you do…

  1. Input your Twitter feed, username and password into FreeMyFeed and get your new feed
  2. Subscribe to that feed in Google Reader
  3. Remove your old Twitter Feed from your Google Reader Lifestream folder and add the new FreeMyFeed feed to that folder
  4. Sit back and watch your tweets update in your Lifestream again

It’s working for me.  Enjoy.

36 Responses to “Fixing a Broken Twitter Feed in the Google Reader Lifestream Archive”

  1. Thanks for the tip 😀

  2. Cheers- just what I was looking for!

  3. Thanks! That did the trick!

  4. […] une authentification. J’ai enfin réussi à trouver un moyen de contourner le problème en lisant cet article sur un blog. J’ai testé le tout et ça fonctionne à […]

  5. Thanks. now it works just fine. :~)

  6. Thank you very much. This is exactly what I need.

  7. Great tip!! I was struggling for a long time, in getting my Twitter RSS to Google Reader. Thanks again!!

  8. many thanks to you, and to the bots at google, who made it possible for me to find this solution

  9. Wow, i am lookign for somethign like this. Can you tell me, do you know how to put an rss feed like this onto a blog? I mean , if a blog can take rss feeds (they do), then do you think that the feed will update autmatically on a blog?
    I mean to use this as a particular subject source for prices of a carbon credits (or any financial product, i guess) so that the latest up to date information will be posted.
    Any thoughts?

  10. You can add an RSS feed to a blog in a bunch of different ways. Check out my lifestream as an example of RSS feeds as blog content. WP-o-Matic is a plugin that automatically creates posts from the RSS/Atom feeds. Search and I’m sure that you can find others. Good luck.

  11. Thank you! Worked beauitfully.

  12. Won’t work. I get “200 OK. The request has succeeded. However, valid XML was not returned.” Now I’m worried that I put my password out there.

  13. But aren’t you giving your username and password to a third-party? Seems rather insecure, to say the least.

  14. Yes, but the point of this exercise is to free an RSS stream that you feel is unnecessarily secure.

    You are creating an insecure situation and providing a third party with your username and password is something that you shouldn’t do without considering the implications, but I weighed the pros and cons and don’t feel too worried about my Twitter account. I’d feel a lot differently if it was the username and password to a credit card.

  15. Great tip – thanks for posting!


  16. I recently discovered that some of my tweets are not appearing in my Google RSS feed. It seems that this application goes to the feed and grabs the 20 most recent tweets and publishes them to my RSS feed. But if there are more than 20 new tweets, it skips the rest.

    DOes anyone know of a fix to this?

    Thanks for any help!

  17. Jason – can you provide a little more detail? Is Google Reader only pulling the 20 most recent tweets the first time that you set it up and then subsequently pulling them all? That’s standard and I believe that you will see this with any new feed.

    Or are you such a prolific twitterer that you have 20+ tweets in a short period and not all of them are collected by Google Reader? More detail will help to troubleshoot the problem.

  18. Thomas, I’ll try to better explain my issue:

    I use FreeMyFeed to read the tweets of everyone I follow – I’ve been adding tweeters like crazy, and now have about 80 people that I follow. Some of these tweeters update like crazy!

    It appears to me that at some interval (maybe once an hour), FreeMyFeed pulls the latest tweets from my Twitter Stream and sends them to my Google RSS Feed. If there are only a few new tweets, it will pull only those few new ones. However, if there are more than 20 new tweets, it will only pull the 20 most recent tweets to my RSS Feed, while the rest are lost (to me) because I never go to to look at my Twitter Stream.

    I only found out I was “dropping” tweets from my Google RSS because I happened to be on and realized I hadn’t seen any updates from someone that I know has been updating.

    So, I’d like to know if I can either:
    -Make FreeMyFeed pull ALL unread tweets from my Twitter Stream, no matter how many there are, OR
    -Make FreeMyFeed check my stream more often to ensure that I don’t lose any (or at least as many) tweets from my RSS.

    The first of the two options is preferable to me, but I’ll take any solution I can get. I believe (but don’t know) that the limit on 20 is based on the fact that only shows the 20 most recent tweets. Perhaps I can change that setting on Twitter to solve my issues?

    Please let me know if this all makes sense.


  19. Awesome, thanks for the tip!

  20. Awesome. Appreciate the tip. Quick fix.

  21. Thanks! Now I can follow my tweets easily…

  22. This worked great for about a month, then suddenly stopped.
    I tried to regenerate the link, and here is the error message i get:

    Apologies! An error occured while trying to ‘free your feed’.

    The remote server responded with:
    200 OK. The request has succeeded. However, valid XML was not returned.

  23. Jessica – I just checked my freed Twitter feed and it is working. I also regenerated the RSS feed with and that worked fine as well. Give it another shot to see if there was a server issue on either Twitter or FreeMyFeed’s side. Also double check the source url that you input, the user name and password. Good luck and let me know if any of those helped.

  24. It’s magically working again. I didn’t even need to regenerate the url. how embarassing :( but thanks for checking

  25. Glad that it all worked out. Good luck.

  26. […] Reader od Google’a tego nie obsługuje, więc byłem w kropce. Rozwiązanie znalazłem na tym blogu, a konkretnie dowiedziałem się, że mogę dodać wpisy z Twittera do Google Readera, dzięki […]

  27. Thank you very very much, I can see my feed back now

  28. Personally I am frustrated that any — any! — RSS search of twitter search maxes out at 15 normally, or 100 of you enter rpp=100 to the end of the feed. I need to store and process many tweets, what is this limitation!

    Anyone know how to make a feed that will collect everything for me? It sounds silly but what I need is a way to read Google Reader content (which will collect it all nicely for me) via RSS. Any ideas?

  29. I’ve used Google Reader for precisely this pupose. Initially you will only be able to import the 15-100 tweets, but it will save all subsequent ones imported into Google Reader via the feed indefinitely.

  30. Peter – just found this tool, not an RSS feed, but a way to access all of your past tweets. Even the oldest ones.

  31. Exactly what I was looking for. Great tip!

  32. […] Reader od Google”a tego nie obsługuje, więc byłem w kropce. Rozwiązanie znalazłem na tym blogu, a konkretnie dowiedziałem się, że mogę dodać wpisy z Twittera do Google Readera, dzięki […]

  33. Was working for a couple of months but now I get:

    FreeMyFeed Error (401)
    from Twitter / Favorites from ******
    There was an error processing your feed. The error was:

    “401 Authorization Required. Invalid login credentials!”

    This was probably caused by a change to your password. To resolve the problem please go to and free your feed again.

    Our apologies for the inconvenience.


    I haven’t changed any of my settings so any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

  34. Spookus – I’ve got no idea why FreeMyFeed stopped working for you, but my first suggestion would be to enter your password again and see if that fixes the situation. Like many things feeds seems to need a reset every now and then to keep them working right. Give it a shot and let me know of it cures your ills. Good luck.

  35. As far as I can tell, FreeMyFeed no longer works with Twitter b/c twitter doesn’t support basic Auth anymore. If anyone’s had any recent success getting Twitter to work with FreeMyFeed please do let me know, I’d be curious to hear of it.

  36. Is there any way to get Google Reader to stop showing blank Twitter status messages from each person I follow? Very irritating.

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