Twitter, the social media giant, will soon be ending its free access to its API, which developers use to access Twitter’s data and services. The company announced that starting February 9, there will be a paid subscription to Twitter’s basic API tier. The move has already been met with criticism from users, including developers who have already announced their intention to end their Twitter projects.
For example, the creator of the popular Possum Every Hour Twitter account, which auto-tweets out a photo of a possum every hour, stated that the account will stop tweeting once the free API tier ends. The decision to end free access to the API is part of Twitter’s effort to generate more revenue, as the company has lost about 50 percent of its advertisers, its main source of revenue, since Elon Musk took over. Despite this, Twitter has been unable to convert even 0.1 percent of its monthly active users into paying subscribers.
The removal of the free API tier could stifle creativity from developers who don’t intend to monetize their projects, as they might seek other platforms that still offer free API access, such as Facebook or YouTube. However, it’s important to note that Twitter already has a paid tier of service for its API that serves social media companies that generate revenue from offering Twitter data.
While some might believe that the move will eliminate scammers and spam bots, it’s unlikely as most of these bad actors never used the API in the first place and instead operate with workarounds such as web scrapers.