The Twitter API roller coaster continues under the leadership of Elon Musk. Today, the firm introduced a new “Pro” level for developers. It costs $5,000 per month, which puts it between the $100 Basic and custom-priced Enterprise options.
The new Twitter API Pro plan provides monthly app-level access to 1 million retrieved tweets and 300,000 published tweets. Additionally, it provides rate-limited access to endpoints for real-time filtered streams (live access to tweets based on specific parameters) and comprehensive archive search for historical tweets. Finally, add three App IDs and access to Twitter via Login.
However, the price of $5,000 per month for companies that want to “experiment, build and scale” their operations leaves a significant gap between this and the reference plan of $100 per month, the next level. The latter only provides a minuscule portion of the access to the Pro plan, leaving small businesses to choose between a tier that may not provide enough for a $100 monthly fee, or a $5,000 plan that exceeds many business budgets.
Some users also said that they thought it was too limited for the price. “It’s great, but you’ve already killed most Twitter apps,” Maxime Dupré, the creator of Birdy, said in response to Twitter’s statement. “And for most of us, $5,000 is still too much. A $1,000 plan might make sense, but it’s too late now.” Researchers probably won’t get much benefit from the price either, since the platform has been trying to charge them tens of thousands of dollars to use it.
Recent tweaks to the Twitter API have made it more difficult for developers to continue accessing company data. Most of the company’s third-party clients were effectively terminated in January before the terms of service were quietly updated to reflect the change. The company then announced in February that it would discontinue free API access, but promised that a new read-only version of the free tier would still be available for “testing” purposes.
The previous version of the free API was disabled entirely in April, but Twitter reactivated it for emergency services in May. In March, the platform released the first three levels of the new API (free, basic, and enterprise) before adding the $5,000 premium tier today. Since the company has already distanced itself from many of the developers who once relied on its platform, it remains to be seen how effective it will be in attracting new customers, particularly smaller businesses, to the expensive new plan.
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