Twitter cuts free access to its API, which could lead to the closure of hundreds of applications, Elon Musk’s search for income could destroy the ecosystem surrounding the platform

Twitter announced today that the social network will no longer provide free access to its API from February 9. The company will stop supporting free access to the Twitter API and will instead offer a “paid basic level”. This means that a large number of tools for Twitter – including applications for analyzing Twitter data and tools for management and automatic updates – may stop working after February 9. The decision of Twitter has drawn criticism in the community because it affects many tools, a wide range of applications and functions that contribute to the real-time ecosystem that Twitter has become.

Twitter’s API allows third parties to retrieve and analyze public data from Twitter, which can be used to create programmable bots and separate applications that plug into the platform, such as Pikaso, Thread Reader, and RemindMe_OfThis. Twitter currently provides limited free access to its API, as well as premium and scalable tiers for developers who need to remove endpoint access restrictions and unlock additional enterprise features. However, Twitter has announced today that this free tier will no longer be available from February 9.

In a series of tweets, the official Twitter Dev account indicated that the company will end support for the old version v1.1 and new v2 of its Twitter APIs. The company did not immediately say how much it plans to charge for using the APIs. The move follows the social media company’s sudden change to the terms of service for its API, which is used by many popular third-party clients such as Tweetbot and Twitterrific. Twitter just banned third-party clients, and now it may be the turn of some tools that enrich people’s experience to disappear.

Twitter data is one of the most powerful datasets in the world. We are committed to providing fast and comprehensive access so you can continue to build with us. Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent more than a trillion Tweets, and billions more every week,” says the Twitter Dev account. The goal is to earn as much revenue as possible, at any way possible. The most popular business apps on the platform, including Hootsuite and Sprout Social, already pay for full API access and are unlikely to be affected.

But this could prevent them from offering free plans, which would have a major impact on their business models. Twitter does not publicly disclose pricing for its pro tier API, although it was reported in February last year that fees start at $99 per month and increase depending on the level of access required. Additionally, thousands of developers use Twitter’s API to create fun tools and useful bots – such as tools for tracking the weather or coloring black and white photos – that not intended to make a profit. or make money.

These are really fun side projects for people who might not be willing to pay a fee for something they didn’t build themselves. As a result, many bots and tools that use Twitter’s free API access will likely be charged or forced to shut down. Finally, there is also another specific user base of the Twitter API: students and scientists (researchers). Twitter’s new announcement could have a major impact on research in several areas, including hate speech and the promotion of terrorism online.

Universities often use Twitter to study human behavior in different regions. Limiting the free use of the API could also prevent companies from detecting the spread of misinformation on Twitter. Their loss of these various tools, if that happens, will have a significant impact on Twitter’s overall business. On the other hand, some will see this as another element of Twitter’s crackdown on bots. Elon Musk has made it his mission to eradicate bots from Twitter after buying the platform for a whopping $44 billion by the end of October 2022.

Since then, Musk has taken drastic measures to eliminate bots, some of which are having an impact, but Musk himself has also admitted that these efforts are reducing the overall engagement of the platform. . It could also open the door to competitors, as many Automated Update apps can cross over to other platforms. This relates to things like video game downtime updates, weather apps, and more. There are also other tools like GIF generators and autoresponders. Many tools may be looking for a new home on Mastodon or another rival.

In turn, analysts say this is a misstep, largely ignoring how the developer community has facilitated Twitter’s growth. But Elon and his people will do it, whether outside commentators agree or not. This can be a way to get new customers for Twitter data, and increase business revenue. With the price of entry-level access yet to be revealed, it’s hard to say how many apps, tools, and services this latest money move by Twitter will bring down.

What is clear, however, is that since Musk’s arrival, the company has managed to anger, annoy and lose a large number of users and partners. Musk has been working to increase revenue and boost Twitter’s monetization since the acquisition, to pay off loans and get rid of a mountain of debt. He dramatically fired nearly two-thirds of the staff, locked user verification behind an $8 monthly subscription to Twitter Blue, and even sold off company assets after Twitter closed its offices , allegedly also after failing to pay.

Since its inception, Twitter has had a strange relationship with developers. But this relationship, as awkward as it sounds, is benign for both sides. Third-party companies often provide Twitter’s new products and features, and the social network does its part by not charging them for using the API. In recent years, Twitter has even tried to re-establish ties with developers by launching new programs such as the Twitter App Discovery Toolkit. Many of these initiatives have been abandoned by the new leadership that Musk has put in place.

Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter is working to control how users around the world access the platform, while expanding its attempts to monetize the service. In fact, to keep Twitter, a non-profit service, alive, Musk has to pay an additional $1.5 billion a year in interest alone, which explains these changes. Twitter revamped – and made it more expensive – Twitter Blue and changed the way tweets appear in a user’s News Feed to make the platform more attractive and profitable for its shrinking advertiser base. .

Source : Twitter

And you?

What is your opinion on the subject?

As a developer, how do you view this announcement? Good news, bad news?

In your opinion, what impact could this decision have on the platform?

Do you think Twitter just opened the door to competing platforms?

Do you think this decision will slow down the platform and slow down its growth?

See also

Twitter’s major third-party clients are shutting down, and devs say they still haven’t heard from the company or Elon Musk about what’s going on

Twitter has officially banned third-party clients in its Dev Guidelines update, marking the end of the game for apps like Twitterific that helped make it popular

Twitter API 1.1: more rules, fewer tweets. Ecosystem professionalization or oppressive desire for monetization?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *