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Twitter Cuts Free Access to API Says Developers Will Have to Pay

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By Oscar Blair - - 5 Mins Read

Elon Musk Twitter has officially announced they will cut free access to their application programming interface starting from the 9th of February this year. Before the social media platform made the information public, there were already reports of the Elon Musk-owned platform making such a decision. 

In an official statement, the Twitter developer account said, "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. Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent over a trillion Tweets, with billions more every week. 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."

Sources such as Siliconangle.com had already reported about the moves by Elon Musk to stop Twitter API from being free to all developers. The report from Siliconangle.com suggested that it was an intentional move by Elon Musk since making Twitter API free to the public isn't generating any revenue for the company. So now, the social media platform will start charging Twitter developers before they can use the API. 

What Happened to Twitter API 

Developers started having issues accessing the Twitter API early last month from several sources. Third-party services that rely on the Twitter API for access started having problems, raising many concerns among developers. Without access to the application programming interface of Twitter, these third parties services will have severe problems functioning. 

Many developers started complaining about the issue last month. A developer on Twitter named Tim Carmody made a complaint, saying, "Oh noooooo I think Twitter is revoking access to third-party clients. Neither my Mac app (YoruFukurou) or my iOS app (TweetBot) can authenticate. Both stopped updating at 10:35 Pm. @burritojustice reported the same for his copy of TweetBot." 

"I would be inclined to think this was something TweetBot-specific but my third-party Mac app isn’t working either. Either something has broken (accidentally) or something has been broken (deliberately)," Tim Carmody added. 

Since Elon Musk took over the social media platform, he made drastic changes immediately. From extremely reducing the number of those working for the company to introducing a new Twitter blue that required people to pay. Elon Musk is set to have another means of generating income from his social media platform by limiting access to Twitter API only to those who pay. 

Love-Hate Relationship

Twitter API and third-party services have had a love-hate relationship over the years as they have contributed to the success of each other. At the same time, there is competition. During the early days of Twitter, third-party services integrated into the platform helped users perform actions that weren't available by default on Twitter. 

However, over the years, there have been cases where third-party services were more in the limelight than Twitter. Many suggest that the latest move by Twitter might be part of their plans to limit the powers developers and third-party services have over their API.