Twitter seems to be replacing its API tier free with a “paid base tier,”. These changes could have a huge impact on Twitter’s ecosystem. The change was supposed to take place on February 9th, but was delayed, delayed again . Popular Twitter bots such as the Thread Reader app have relied upon this free tier but may now have to pay high prices, or even cease operations.
Twitter is also affected by the API changes. Some gaming companies warned of the potential impact of the changes on account logins . Substack stated that Twitter had “unexpectedly limited” the ability to embed tweets into newsletters.
Twitter’s fabric has already changed drastically since January when the company banned third party clients. With the API shifts, it may look even less like the social networking site we once knew.
The Twitter API has been reported by many app developers and services over the past few days. Many are struggling to understand the changes, as Twitter has not provided much information on the matter. Mashable reported that the shutdown began Tuesday morning. Twitter’s inability to communicate is made worse by the fact most employees involved with developer relations were laid off during recent mass layoffs.
Apps and websites that use Twitter’s API to allow content sharing to or from Twitter have been affected by the discontinuation of Twitter’s free API. WordPress, for example, reported Tuesday that it couldn’t access the API and its websites were unable to share tweets to Twitter. Numerous Twitter’s bot developers were also affected, with the maker “CheapBots Done Quick” being notified that they had been cut off from the API. While Twitter’s “basic” tier was intended to allow bots to continue, many developers feel that the 1,500 tweet limit is too restrictive.
It is not clear how many developers will continue to use Twitter’s API as it remains secretive about the pricing of higher-level enterprise tiers. Rumours suggest that the “enterprise level” could be $40,000 per month, which may prove too expensive for many developers. Some developers have decided to shut down their services despite this uncertainty. The developer of Social Bearing, an analysis service that researchers use, tweeted that the service was impossible to continue running.