A partial reversal on the early announcement that paywalled Twitter APIs, Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that a free “light, write-only” Twitter API will be available for bots providing “good content”.
Last week, Twitter announced that developers would need to pay around $100 per month for a paid basic tier to access Twitter API — both v2 and v1.1 — as free access will be stopped on February 9. The primary reason for this change was that the APIs were being abused by spammers and scammers, and the paywall, alongwith ID verification, might help. However, after facing backlash, Twitter will be offering limited free access to its APIs.
While Musk changed his mind on Sunday, the future of these bots and the developers maintaining them remains in limbo as the company decides on the description of “bots providing good content”.
The $100 paywall for Twitter API drew major criticism from users and bot creators, as a majority of these bots are used for various purposes, from entertainment to information. Most of the bot developers had announced that they’d be shutting down their bots on February 9, as a result of the change.
Before making this change, Musk even considered giving Twitter API access to verified Twitter Blue accounts.
Musk has been experimenting with monetisation opportunities on Twitter since taking over. The first paid option, Twitter Blue, costs $8 per month for the verification badge, alongwith a few other perks such as appearing first in replies and mentions and 50% fewer ads. Reportedly, Twitter is also considering adding a $1000 per month verification badge tier for companies who want to keep their golden check marks. All this comes in between reports of Twitter wanting to do away with legacy blue checkmarks.
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