Twitter has rolled out its new pricing plans for API access, with the Twitter 2.0 team significantly upping the price and reducing the capacity of developer and researcher access. The Twitter Enterprise API could force many smaller apps and third-party tools out of the market.
Twitter’s API access program enables developers to build apps that read and write Twitter data, which is how third-party scheduling tools, Twitter analysis platforms, and bot accounts – can operate.
Up till now, Twitter has offered a generous free API access tier, but now, Musk and Co. are looking to up the cost, which will see many developers forced out of the Twitter tools market.
Twitter’s updated API access tiers are as follows:
The new restrictions on tweet posting will hinder a lot of apps, while the cost of moving up to higher tiers will be too much to justify. And already, various third-party tools have announced that they’ll be bowing out, which could see some of your favorite Twitter apps no longer working the next time you log in.
Twitter announced last month that it would be cutting off its free API access tier entirely, which sparked uproar and angst in the developer community. Twitter chief Elon Musk then changed his mind and said that Twitter would maintain free and cheap access for certain elements. But as now presented in these new tiers, that access is extremely limited, which is effectively the same result as canceling it for many apps.
Besides small to medium-sized players like Publer, this could also affect larger tools, such as HootSuite and Later, who’ll now need to assess whether the new changes will increase their costs and whether that increase is passed onto users. HootSuite already got rid of its free plan, and you could expect similar changes coming for any Twitter-connected tool.
Twitter says that the previous API access tiers will be depreciated over the next 30 days, with apps forced to switch over or shut down even before the deadline.
Twitter also says that it’s working on an alternative access plan for academic researchers, which could provide more access to tweet data. But it hasn’t finalized that offering as yet, so researchers, for now, will also have to choose one of these new tiers to work with.
Restricting access in this way could reduce the relevance of Twitter as a data source while also making it more difficult to assess performance, which could have flow-on impacts. But the Twitter 2.0 team believes that the current API access enables bot operators to build their networks. Hence, it needs to change, while Twitter also needs to make more money as advertisers continue to reduce their spending.
Twitter Enterprise API packages start at $42,000 per month for its lowest subscription tier and goes up to $210,000 per month.
Twitter is finally starting to put a price on its paid API plans after announcing that the platform’s free API access would soon be cut off.
And, it’s not cheap.
Many indie developers were fast to work around the new limits and restrictions by implementing a way for users to bring their own Twitter API key.
By creating their own Twitter app and obtaining their own API key, end users can use their own key to access the Twitter API and bypass the limits set for the default API key provided by Twitter.
This allows them to continue making requests while not costing their favorite Twitter app a fortune.
However, using this workaround responsibly and not abusing the API is important, as Twitter can still enforce limits and take action against users who violate their policies.
Since the Twitter free API does not support reading data, thus no analytics, it’s definitely not ideal for digital marketers who rely on insights to make data-driven decisions.
Despite facing major objections and many users fleeing the platform, Twitter remains an important social network. Thus, continuing to fully integrate Twitter is something that we cannot negotiate as a social media management platform.
While we will not increase our prices, unfortunately, the high added cost will prevent us from being able to continue supporting Twitter accounts for free. The “bring your own API key” method could work for many apps, but we don’t see it as a long-term solution.
We hope to have your support and understanding as we upgrade Publer to the Twitter Enterprise API tier by the end of this month.
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It would truly help us continue the pace of innovation we started many years ago.
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