Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact Vicariously for support?

Reach out on Twitter! A simple tweet should get the job done or if you want something more private, DMs are open.

Can you explain the differences between the different list types?

Vicariously offers five different list types. They're all more or less inspired by set theory.

The classic list is the simplest and was the original list type on Vicariously (hence the name). It takes all the follows of a given user and adds them to a list. Simple.

The union list is similar to a classic list, however it works with multiple users. It takes all the follows of a set of given users and adds them to a list.

The intersect list takes the mutual follows of a set of given users and adds them to a list.

The subtract list starts with the follows of a given base user and then removes all the follows of a set of other users. With this list type, the order you enter the @handles in matters as the first @handle will be the base user.

The difference list adds the exclusive follows of a set of given users to a list.

Will changing the name and/or description of lists break anything?

Nope! Vicariously references lists by their immutable ID so changing the name and/or description of lists will not affect Vicariously list syncs.

Why do you need so many permissions from my Twitter account?

Unfortunately, the Twitter API only offers three levels of permissions:

  • Read only
  • Read and write
  • Read, write, and access direct messages

Vicariously uses "Read and write" since it needs to create lists on your behalf.

Can I prevent Vicariously from adding me to lists and creating lists based on my follows?

You sure can. There's a handful of mechanisms you can use to achieve this.

First, if your Twitter account is protected, the only Twitter users who will be able to access your follows and tweets are users who you allow to follow you.

Second, users who you block will also not be able to access your follows and tweets.

Finally, Vicariously allows you to opt-out through privacy controls available on the account settings page.

Why is there a discrepancy between the follow count and list member count?

There are a few things that could be going on.

First, it could just be that the users the list is based on have followed and/or unfollowed others recently and Vicariously hasn't performed a sync since then. Waiting for the next scheduled sync or forcing a sync manually both should resolve this scenario.

Second, the user may have made their follows list inaccessible to your account. This could have happened if the user blocked you, switched to being a protected account, or if they opted out of allowing others to access their follows through Vicariously.

Third, the Twitter API has an undocumented limitation to how many members you can add to lists in a given day. From what I can tell, this threshold appears to be ~3,000. You might hit this issue if you create a bunch of lists in succession.

Vicariously does everything it can to keep your lists up to date and as accurate as possible. If things seem out of whack, there's probably a valid reason for it. With that said, feel free to reach out if you have questions about your lists.

My list status says the Twitter API is throttling me, what does that mean?

You've hit the undocumented Twitter API threshold for adding users to lists. Since it's undocumented, it's not clear what the rules are. If you've just hit this issue with a newly created list, the list will usually sync as expected during the next automated attempt.

It should also be noted that the Twitter API doesn't return an error when this happens. Vicariously detects it by comparing the number of users expected to be added to a list to the number of users actually added to the list. If the delta between those two numbers is high enough, Vicariously assumes you're being throttled.

My list status says you've given up?!

Vicariously syncs every list according to its sync frequency. Every once in a while a sync will fail. If syncs fail 10 or more consecutive times, Vicariously categorizes your list as irredeemable and pauses auto syncs.

Why not keep trying to sync the list? Well because usually these syncs are failing due to external reasons outside the control of Vicariously. Here are some examples of when this can happen:

  • Your Twitter account has been suspended
  • Your Twitter account has revoked permissions
  • Your list is based on a user who has deleted their account
  • Your list is based on a user who made their Tweets protected and you do not follow them.
  • Your list is based on a user who has blocked your Twitter account

If you are able to resolve the underlying issue, you can force sync your list to resume auto syncing.

Why does it cost money to create more than 1 list?

It's as simple as this: there are costs to running Vicariously and charging a subscription is a way to offset those costs.

If you can't afford the subscription but think Vicariously is cool, reach out. I'd be more than happy to gift you a free subscription.

It's a View-Master. It felt appropriate considering Vicariously allows you to see into another user's timeline.

Who created Vicariously?

That'd be me, Jake Harding. When I'm not working my day job at Office Hours or hacking away on Vicariously, I'm helping out at Boho Esthetician in Whitefish, MT.

© 2023 Vicariously