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Twitter's New API Pricing and Its Impact on Developers

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
6th April 2023
Twitter's New API Pricing and Its Impact on Developers
Twitter claims the new pricing is being implemented to eradicate bots (Getty)

Twitter's recent announcement of its new API pricing has taken the developer community by storm. Indie developers, in particular, are being hit hard by the new pricing structure that is being perceived as a money-making scheme by Twitter. The latest pricing model has left many indie developers with no choice but to shut down their Twitter-based applications. 

Twitter claims that the new pricing is being implemented to eradicate bots, but it is evident that indie developers are viewed as acceptable losses in Twitter's quest for profit. As of now, indie developers will need to explore other alternatives or move to the Enterprise plans, which may be too expensive for most.

Twitter's new API provides third-party developers and applications with access to the platform's data and features. The new pricing model offers two plans - free and paid - with drastically different pricing points.

Twitter’s New API: The Free Plan

According to Twitter, the free plan allows developers to create up to 1,500 tweets per month. However, free access to the API no longer includes the ability to access tweets, only create them. This represents a significant reduction from Twitter's previous free plan called "Elevated" that allowed developers to access up to 2 million tweets per month.

Twitter’s New API: The Paid Plan

Twitter's paid plan, known as Basic, costs $100 per month and only allows access to 10,000 tweets per month. Developers can create up to 50,000 tweets per month with this plan. These limits are far less than the previous free plan's limits. Therefore, most apps using the Twitter API with just a few regular users will exceed these limits quickly.

Twitter’s New API: The Enterprise Plans

The Enterprise plans, starting at $42,000 per month, are the next step up from the Basic plan. Currently, there is no plan announced between the $100 per month Basic tier and the $42,000 per month starting price for the Enterprise plans. This means that if a developer outgrows the $100 plan, they will have to upgrade to the $42,000 per month plan.

The Impact of Twitter’s New API Plans on Indie Developers

Indie developers are feeling the brunt of Twitter's new API pricing structure. Many developers have already announced that the new pricing structure effectively forces them to shut down their Twitter-based apps. For those running apps that use the Twitter API but are not entirely dependent on it, major changes have been announced as well.

Many Network analysis tools that are very useful to fact-checkers and researchers will no longer be operational due to the new plans. Social Bearing, for example is now forced to shut down. 

A supporting image within the article body
Photo Description: Screenshot of the statement by Social Bearing. 

Botometer, which checks the activity of Twitter accounts and gives them a score based on how likely they are to be bots, also posted a disclaimer clarifying: “NOTE: Twitter will soon stop supporting its free API. This will disable OSoMe tools, including Botometer and Hoaxy, and devastate public interest research. Even if we are able to keep the tools running, they will likely only work for users who can pay Twitter for data. We condemn this decision by Twitter, which removes one of the best sources of social media platform transparency. Please read our open letter with the Coalition for Independent Technology Research for more information.”

A supporting image within the article body
Photo Description: Screenshot of the statement by Botometer. 

Many fact-checkers and internet users expressed their disapproval of Twitter’s new plans. 

In an open letter, the Coalition for Independent Technology Research criticized the fact that Twitter's new API pricing plans will devastate public interest research. According to the letter, the impact of these changes will be significant and wide-reaching. The Coalition for Independent Technology Research said they are working tirelessly to support the research community in the face of these challenges. In their letter, they urged Twitter to engage with the research community and provide affordable access to its API to ensure that independent research can continue to advance understanding of technology's impact on society.

Misbar’s Sources:

Twitter Dev

The Verge


Social Bearing


The Coalition for Independent Technology Research