Twitter Will Start Charging For Its API Next Week And People Are Furious

In search of new revenue streams to help recoup the 40% year-on-year loss since new owner Elon Musk’s takeover, Twitter has announced that it will start charging for access to the Twitter API beginning February 9.

If the announcement seems haphazardly done, it is. The pay gate for basic access, which will impact a huge number of projects and jobs, will begin to roll out next week — meaning the company’s only giving a week’s notice — but Twitter has yet to give details on pricing.

The API, or Application Programming Interface, as Tom Coates helpfully puts it is “a way for a piece of software to talk to another piece of software.” For example, “a Twitter app talks to Twitter’s servers through an API. The app will go, ‘give me the tweets posted from this time’ and the server goes, ‘okay here they are.’” 

Some examples of these Twitter apps that use the API are RemindMe_OfThis, Thread Reader, CramerTracker, and of course ElonJet

Twitter already provides premium, scalable API tiers and enterprise features for developers for a reported amount that starts at $99 per month. The announcement impacts the currently free limited access tier.

The big change was met, not surprisingly, with much furor online.

Not only will the big change affect many independent developers (like ElonJet…hmm), marketers, and the connected apps, but many also feel that it is a terrible idea because of how it will actually impact the platform.

Twitter has significantly been built collaboratively, so to speak, throughout its 17 years of existence through its API. Mastodon user Aulia Masna listed the milestones that access to the API has allowed and contributed to building the social media platform into how it’s known today and they’re pretty astounding.

Users — and maybe Musk, too — have yet to see how this new attempt at creating a new revenue stream will really impact the platform. It’s unclear whether those who will be impacted will actually want to pay for access or just abandon the projects they have that connect through basic API access. 

This could just be a Twitter Blue fiasco redux, which was likely more trouble than it’s worth.

Information for this story was found via Twitter, the Verge, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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