Twitter has announced its intention to discontinue free access to the Twitter API, starting from February 9th, 2023. The social media giant will be replacing its free API with a “paid basic tier,” though no information has been released on the pricing. The Twitter Developer account stated that Twitter data is among the world’s most powerful data sets and that the company is committed to providing fast and comprehensive access for developers.
The Twitter API, an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface, allows third-party entities to retrieve and analyze public Twitter data, which can then be used to create various applications, such as Pikaso, Thread Reader, and RemindMe_OfThis. Currently, Twitter provides limited free access to its API, with premium, scalable tiers available for developers requiring additional access. The cost of the premium API tiers is not publicly disclosed, but it was reported in February 2022 that fees start at $99 per month and increase based on the level of access.
This decision to discontinue free access to the API follows Twitter’s recent update to its developer rules, banning third-party clients and causing popular apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot to leave the platform. The discontinuation of free API access could affect small developers who have used the free API to create fun tools and bots, as well as researchers and students who use the platform for online behavior studies.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has made numerous efforts to increase revenue and boost Twitter’s monetization, including layoffs, locking verification behind a monthly subscription, and selling company assets. The discontinuation of free API access is part of his broader plan to increase Twitter’s profitability.