Twitter’s controversial decisions under owner Elon Musk just keep on coming, with the platform killing off its free developer API.
Twitter’s API is used for a number of things, including engaging bots and research. The company has decided it will no longer provide free access, with plans to start charging developers February 9.
Starting February 9, we will no longer support free access to the Twitter API, both v2 and v1.1. A paid basic tier will be available instead
Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev), February 2, 2023
Needless to say, the news is not going over well, with many calling out Twitter for harming the very devs that help add value to the platform.
Developer Tom Coates was one such voice:
*”Short version: (1) Developers add value to Twitter by helping people create content. They add value to the core service; (2) Having said that, it is not unreasonable to want to find a way to charge those developers who extract more value than they contribute; (3) However, one week’s notice and no indication of pricing shows Twitter is chaotic and unreliable. No one’s going to build a business on that; (4) So you’re basically just shutting down the API and causing massive damage to Twitter in the most labour intensive way possible.”*
Coates concluded by saying: “This is dumb.”
Twitter may be hurting financially, but it’s hard to fathom how this is the right move. Mastodon has already gained a significant user base from Twitter’s previous decisions. Making it difficult for people to engage with the platform will only driver Twitter’s users elsewhere.