Twitter’s New API Access Charges Could Price Many Apps and Researchers Out of Their Projects

Twitter API large package

A range of third-party Twitter apps could soon go dark, and many research studies based on tweets shelved, due to a big increase in costs for access to Twitter’s API.

The Twitter API is what enables developers and researchers to access tweets at scale, enabling third-party analytics, analysis of tweet content, etc. Up till now, Twitter has offered basic access to the Twitter API for free, but last month, Twitter announced that it would be cutting off its free access tier, as a means to combat developers that have been using the free API for ill intent.

As Musk notes, Twitter has now implemented a basic plan, which enables significantly limited access, but this week, we also got a look at the new Twitter API access costs, which are much higher than they have been in the past.

As you can see in these documents, shared by Wired (and journalist Chris Stokel-Walker), Twitter is now communicating to developers that they will need to pay a minimum of $42,000 per month to access the ‘Small’ API access package.

For comparison, under Twitter’s previous API pricing, the highest tier was $2,899 per month for its ‘Premium’ plan.

As per Wired:

“The cheapest, Small Package, gives access to 50 million tweets for $42,000 a month. Higher tiers give researchers or businesses access to larger volumes of tweets – 100 million and 200 million tweets respectively – and cost $125,000 and $210,000 a month. WIRED confirmed the figures with other existing free API users, who have received emails saying that the new pricing plans will take effect within months.”

The price hike will cut off many API users, which as noted, will eliminate many third party Twitter apps and tools that have built their business based on the previous API charges. Many developers raised concerns when the initial API changes were announced, and various apps – including Tweetbot and Twitterrific – have already shut down due to the new API rules.

Others now look set to follow, and while some are exploring how they may be able to stay in business in the wake of these changes, many have already concluded that $42k per month is too much to bear.

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