Elon Musk tweet displayed on a phone screen and Twitter logo displayed on a screen in the background are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on December 21, 2022
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Twitter will start charging developers to get access to its API, a vital tool that powers popular services like TweetDelete and bots that send users prompts on data in real time.
The microblogging site, which was taken over by Elon Musk last October, said that from Feb. 9 it would “no longer support free access to the Twitter API.”
Third-party services using the Twitter API will have to use its basic paid tier instead, the company said.
“Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent over a trillion Tweets, with billions more every week,” an official Twitter account tweeted late Wednesday.
“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.”
APIs are software tools used by third-party developers to access data from applications and use it to make new services.
The Twitter API, which comes in both free and paid versions, is used by thousands of developers for things ranging from setting reminders to sharing alerts on changes to certain Twitter accounts.
Researchers, meanwhile, use the tool to track hate speech and misinformation online.
The Twitter API is also used by the newsgathering service Dataminr to alert journalists to information that emerges on Twitter in real time.
Since Musk took the reins as Twitter’s CEO, he has sought to cut costs dramatically and improve monetization.
The billionaire is trying to turn Twitter into a profitable venture in a bid to recoup the investment he’s made under his gargantuan $44 billion purchase of the company.
Under his rein, Twitter laid off roughly half of its global workforce and incorporated the verification badge into its paid Twitter Blue subscription product.