Elon Musk says Twitter will provide a free API tier for ‘good’ bots

After saying final week that each one builders would have to pay to entry Twitter’s API, CEO Elon Musk has walked that again a step. In a tweet yesterday, he introduced that “responding to suggestions, Twitter will allow a lightweight, write-only API for bots offering good content material that’s free.”

Since August of 2020, Twitter has offered a “fundamental” free tier as a part of its V2 API, designed for “these simply getting began, constructing one thing for enjoyable, for a great trigger, and to study or educate,” the corporate wrote on the time.

In January, nonetheless, Twitter revoked API entry to third-party apps citing “long-standing guidelines.” It then up to date its developer phrases banning third-party purchasers, successfully killing apps like Twitterific and Tweetbot. Lastly final week, Twitter introduced that each one builders must pay to use its API, beginning at round $100 per thirty days for the essential tier.

That resulted in an outcry that the brand new guidelines would kill many enjoyable and helpful bots that create quotes around tweets, present alerts for tech execs unfollowing one another, show the weather in random components of the world and extra. Most of the people who run the bots advised Buzzfeed they may by no means pay that quantity to maintain them working, in order that they’d merely disappear. “It was a enjoyable factor, a factor that really supplied Twitter with extra worth,” mentioned the particular person behind @BigTechAlert, Álex Barredo.

It is unclear if Musk’s Twitter will use one thing like the present fundamental tier. Additionally left unsaid to date is what would possibly represent “good content material.” If approval is required for every bot, that could possibly be a problem contemplating the corporate’s severely downsized moderation group.

Musk has been on a mission to chop prices and discover new sources of income for Twitter, after telling employees at one level that “chapter just isn’t out of the query.” Round 80 percent of the corporate’s full-time workers have been let go, leaving simply 1,300 in whole and fewer than 550 full-time engineers. On the similar time, Twitter has launched subscriptions and detailed plans to share advert income with creators.

Nonetheless, Musk lately tweeted that Twitter is “now trending to breakeven,” following a number of “extraordinarily powerful” months. The corporate nonetheless faces challenges, nonetheless, like advertisers reportedly fleeing in droves, class-action suits from workers and potential regulator scrutiny within the EU and elsewhere.

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