Twitter is closing third-party developers’ free access to its API. This latest attempt to generate revenue for the cash-starved social media platform. The platform will start to charge for access to its data on February 9, though it’s not clear yet where the company is looking to set the price. And many people who write software for a living think it’s a terrible idea.
“Starting February 9, we will no longer support free access to the Twitter API, both v2 and v1.1. A paid basic tier will be available instead,” the company tweeted from its developer account overnight.
Software developers have access to data via the API (Application Programming Interface) to create fun apps and bots on top of existing programs.
“Twitter data are among the world’s most powerful data sets. We’re committed to enabling fast & comprehensive access so you can continue to build with us. We’ll be back with more details on what you can expect next week,” Twitter continued.
How will you lose it? Useful programs like “Remind Me Of This Tweet,” use the Twitter API and will only stay online if the developers decide to pay up. Twitter’s fun, goofy projects which keep it entertaining and a place where people can have fun will be gone. As one example, the free bot “Foxes Every Hour,” which just posts a photo of a different fox every hour, said it will stop working when Twitter’s changes take place.
One other software developer stated that he will no longer build projects for Twitter once access is charged for.
“Next week, there won’t be a free Twitter API anymore. This means that I won’t be able to work on commercial projects using the API. This change will destroy research, activism and commercial projects,” Luca Hammer tweeted early Thursday.
However, some thought that the move would improve Twitter. This opinion is definitely minority.
“I built 2 side projects last year on top of the Twitter api. This is a good thing imo,” one developer who goes by Trivia TroyYou can also write on social media.
“A paid api could bring more capability, higher performance, and straightforward developer approval,” Troy continued.
While it’s not clear what projects Troy has built using the Twitter API, it is clear he pays $8 per month for Twitter Blue. And Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter who’s struggled to find ways to make the site bring in fast cash, will certainly be happy to hear that.