Twitter has now stopped giving away its API for free. This decision from Twitter was expected and it’s affecting lots of apps and websites. Before they made this move, they had already said the change would happen in early February, but then changed their mind and did not say when exactly the shift would take place.
Recently, Twitter made changes to their system and started changing the way some people use it. Thousands of developers who used Twitter’s free tools are beginning to experience outages with their service. Tuesday morning was when most of these issues started happening, but a lot of people don’t seem to have known about the change or been given any sort of warning from Twitter about them.
Twitter has stopped giving free access to their APIs. This happened because they decided not to allow third-party Twitter clients as a part of their new business strategy. However, this change affects more than just the third-party clients, like developers, researchers, bot makers and others who all used the APIs.
There have been changes on Twitter that have caused problems with apps and websites that used to allow people to share content from/to Twitter. For example, WordPress reported that it could not access the API which meant that posts couldn’t be automatically shared on Twitter (but this issue has now been solved).
On Wednesday, a service named Echobox, which helps publishers share content on Twitter, said that it was also “kicked out” from the Twitter API. They found a way to fix this but haven’t heard back from Twitter yet. Additionally, Flipboard (a news app) told people who use their app to view Twitter feeds that they will no longer be able to do so soon.
Twitter has recently changed its rules and regulations. This change affects people who develop bots for Twitter. People who make “Cheap Bots Done Quick” are now not allowed to access the API (an important part of making the bots). Twitter thinks that they can still make the bots, but it’s much harder with the daily limit of 1,500 tweets.
Newsletter service Substack has recently been having trouble displaying tweets, though it is unclear if that is because the Twitter API was shut down or the company wants to compete with Twitter. (On other sites, these tweets seem to be working just fine.)
Twitter hasn’t told any of its developers about the changes it made or what those changes mean. Many of the employees who could’ve answered questions were kicked out during their big job cuts, and now people are asking lots of questions in their developer forums but nobody has answers. The company also doesn’t have anyone dealing with communications anymore, and if you email them you just get sent a picture of a poop emoji!
Mashable reported that even developers willing to pay for Twitter’s API have been cut off, and the pricing for a higher level of the service is still unknown. Echobox wrote in a post that they had tried to sign up for the ‘Enterprise tier’ (a fancy word for their highest-level service offering) but have still not heard anything from Twitter’s team. And yesterday, without any warning, their access to the API was gone!
Three apps, Tweet Shelf, TweetDeleter and Tweet Archivist, have all had their API access blocked even though they applied for something called the Enterprise API access. This means that these services won’t be able to work properly anymore.
It’s not sure how many developers can use Twitter’s API anymore. The free and $100 monthly option is much more limited than what was available before, and even though Twitter hasn’t said how much the “enterprise” level will be, it may end up costing a lot – some people say it could cost up to $40,000 a month!
Some developers are not waiting anymore to find out how much the services will be priced. The creator of Social Bearing, which is an analysis tool used by experts, explained that their tool could no longer stay alive. He or she said on Twitter: “I wish the remaining people at Twitter and other developers luck!”