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Twitter ends free API access; plans to release a paid version soon

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Twitter will stop free access to its API starting February 9. Both the legacy v1.1 and the newer v2 will be dropped and a new, paid API version will be launched. The pricing or the release date for the new API hasn’t been announced yet. The company will instead be introducing a ‘basic paid tier’ of its API for use by third-party apps. 

The shift to a paid API is the latest push to generate revenue for the company as Elon Musk pushes to make the platform more profitable. Twitter had only recently changed the terms of its API affecting a number of popular third-party Twitter apps such as Tweetbot and Twitterific which were shut down under the new rules.

As a direct consequence of these changed terms, a lot of third-party Twitter clients have either shut down or halted further development for the time being. A lot of third-party apps using the Twitter API are novelty apps that introduce fun, gimmicky features. Access to the API being behind a paywall will seriously hinder these projects which will either need to shut down or pass the cost onto the users by charging a fee.

Additionally, this new announcement might also affect researchers and students using the Twitter API in areas like hate speech and abuse. Finally, limiting or dropping support for the free API can also stop firms from working to prevent misinformation spread on Twitter. 

Ever since Musk took over the platform, it has been introducing new ways to control how users interact with Twitter and how much they pay. Subscriptions for using the app, called Twitter Blue have already risen in price under the new management. Musk is also actively trying to make the platform more engaging and attractive to an otherwise diminishing advertiser base. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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