Days before Twitter’s deadline to end free access to its API, Elon Musk said on Monday that the company ‘’will enable a light, write-only API for bots providing good content that is free’’.
Last Thursday, the official Twitter Developer account announced that the social networking platform would no longer offer its API for free starting February 9th, and that it would be replaced by a paid basic plan which Musk said could cost around $100 per month. He said the reason behind the change was ‘’bot scammers & opinion manipulators’’ abusing the API. The news also came weeks after the company banned all-third party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific.
While developers have long used the API for free to create bots for entertainment or to offer features like reminders for specific tweets, taking screenshots, etc, Twitter’s change will likely bring an end to a lot of bots or cause them to turn to other platforms like Mastodon. Tapbots, for example, recently launched its Mastodon client ‘’Ivory’’, after its Tweetbot app was banned from Musk’s platform.
Just four days before the deadline, in response to a user who criticized the change, Musk said that they would offer a free API to bots that provide ‘’good content’’. But neither he nor the company has yet revealed any further details.
Twitter’s controversial API change comes as Musk is trying to boost the company’s revenue, which has taken a hit mainly by advertisers halting their campaigns on the platform.
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Following Musk’s takeover, Twitter also launched its Twitter Blue tier on iOS and Android for verification badges. The plan costs $8 when bought through its website but $11 through the company’s mobile apps.