Twitter introduces new API with free, basic, and enterprise tiers

Twitter has announced its new API pricing plans, with three levels including a free level mostly intended for content posting bots, a $100 per month basic level, and an enterprise level for developers who want more access to data. Subscribers to any level will also receive access to the Ads API at no extra cost. Twitter will cease old access levels including Standard, Essential and Elevated over the next 30 days. This move comes after Twitter faced criticism for ending its free API access in February.

Twitter Unveils New API with Basic, Free, and Enterprise Levels

After weeks of anticipation, Twitter finally revealed its new API pricing structures on Wednesday. The company’s new API offering has three tiers, which include a basic level costing $100 per month, a free tier for content posting bots, and a costly enterprise level. Twitter also announced that subscribing to any level gives users access to Ads API at no additional cost.

Over the next 30 days, Twitter plans to discontinue its old access levels, including Standard (for v1.1), Essential, and Elevated (for v2), and Premium. The API saga began when Twitter announced in February that it was ending free API access in a matter of days. After receiving criticism, Elon Musk stated that Twitter would provide a free tier to bots providing “good content.” Later, Twitter announced that the basic tier would begin at $100 per month, without specifying the level of access. On February 13, the company delayed the launch by a few more days. More than 45 days later, Twitter finally provided information about its new APIs.

Some developers who tried to subscribe to the new basic tier discovered that they had already exceeded the limit. The new API offering appears to be a money grab, as the free tier provides only 1,500 post requests per month, along with access to Login with Twitter. The basic tier, which is designed for “hobbyists or students,” offers 50,000 post requests and 10,000 read requests per app per month. Developers who require access to more data will have to apply for enterprise access, which reportedly costs $42,000 per month.

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

Last month, when Twitter announced its plans to shut down its free API access, many researchers and academics expressed concerns that the move would hamper student projects and the transparent outlook of the platform achieved through data. Twitter’s new announcement mentions that it is “looking at new ways” to serve the academic community, but did not provide any information about potential solutions. The company went on to say that while they try to define academic usage tier, researchers can subscribe to free, basic, and enterprise tiers. The free and basic tiers may be useless for academics, while the enterprise tier may be too expensive for projects with limited budgets.

Twitter’s recent actions have caused the developer community to feel ostracized. Last year, the company shut down several developer-related projects, including Twitter Toolbox for app discovery, and several others are now in a dormant state. In January, the company shut out third-party clients without any clear communication. Later, it silently changed its developer terms to block alternative Twitter apps.

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