Twitter has announced that it would charge $100 a month for the lowest tier of its Application Programming Interface (API). This comes a week after the social media giant said it would be shutting down free access to the API.
The basic tier new charge4 will have developers gain access to a “low level of API usage” , without a specification of how that will play out.
Twitter has planned a February 9 date for the shutdown of free access to its API but later extended it to February 13 but fell short of giving details around the API pricing restructuring and access levels. The extension may imply that some developers would not be able to plan their changes.
The last week announcement by Twitter stopping free access to its API drew the ire of many developers with many of them criticising the move, especially those who made fun of bots posting information or picturesj. Elon Musk in reaction to the wide criticism that trailed the announcement said Twitter will provide a free API to bots posting “good” content. But the company in a new string of announcements said it will provide a light write-only API to such bot developers with a limit of posting 1,500 tweets per month (or two tweets per hour).
The company wrote through its @Twitter Dev verified handleon February 8:
“A new form of free access will be introduced as this is extremely important to our ecosystem – limited to Tweet creation of up to 1,500 Tweets per month for a single authenticated user token, including Login with Twitter.
The social media powerhouse also added that it will February 13 depreciate premium API, a part of v1.1, with the company adding that developers can apply for enterprise access, though its unclear if users subscribed to elevated access with API v2 will be affected.
With the new announcement setting the ground for basic API tiers and bots, uncertainty brews around academic research.Before Elon Musk took over, the company through its previous management have researchers with API v2 special access but no information has shown yet that the access will be taken away with the discontinuation of the free API tiers. Researchers use this data to signal trends around hate speech or misinformation on the platform and it is hence important that these researchers have permission to access the data to help observe safety issues on Twitter.