Twitter announces new API with free, basic and enterprise level only

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After weeks of waiting, Twitter finally announced its new API pricing structures on Wednesday. These three tiers include a barebones-free tier primarily for content posting by bots, a basic $100 per month tier, and a costly enterprise tier. The company said subscribing at any level gets free access to the Ads API.

Twitter said the company will be discontinuing old access levels for the next 30 days, including Standard (for v1.1), Essential and Elevated (for v2), and Premium.

Twitter’s API saga began when the company announced in February that it was ending free API access in a matter of days. After heavy criticism, Elon Musk said the company will offer a free tier to bots that deliver “good content”. It later said the basic tier would start at $100 per month without giving details on the level of access. On Feb. 13, the company said it had delayed the launch by “a few more days.” More than 45 days later, the company finally provided information about the new APIs.

The new API offering seems like a money grab. The free tier only offers 1,500 post requests per month, along with access to Login with Twitter. The basic level – which is considered “for hobbyists or students” – offers 50,000 post requests and 10,000 read requests per app per month. Developers wanting access to more data will need to apply for enterprise access, which reportedly costs as much as $42,000 per month.

Earlier, with the introduction of the v2 in 2020, Twitter offered multiple levels of access to developers such as Essential and Elevated that could give them access to 500,000 to 2 million tweets per month. Now app makers who fall into that usage category must subscribe to the enterprise plan.

Some developers who tried to subscribe to the new basic level found that they had already reached the limit.

When Twitter decided to shut down free API access last month, AapkaDost reported that many researchers and academics feared the move would hinder student projects and the transparent view of the platform through data.

Twitter’s new announcement states that it is “looking for new ways” to serve the academic community, but does not provide any information on possible solutions. The company continued that as they try to define the academic usage tier, researchers can subscribe to free, basic, and enterprise tiers. The free and basic tiers might be useless for academics, and the enterprise tier might be too expensive for projects with limited budgets.

In recent months, Twitter’s moves have ostracized the developer community. Last year, the company shut down several developer-related projects, including Twitter Toolbox for app discovery, and several others are in a dormant state. In January, the company shut out outside customers without any clear communication. It later quietly changed its terms for developers to block alternative Twitter apps.

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