With this new policy that practically becomes impossible (the costs would be outrageous for a researcher, much less an individual).
This will have the effect of essentially destroying 15 years worth of social science work that was based on Twitter data, it's all gone.
If you're a researcher who has published a data set with only IDs but have a private version with all tweet data I highly encourage you to publish that internal dataset. I'm putting together some hosting for anyone that needs it, feel free to get in touch and we can take it from there.
There's an argument to be had whether it makes sense for Twitter to have a free API tier. I personally think that it's obvious it should:
- A lot of Twitter content/engagement is created by bots, and people quote-tweeting said bots. Fun bots are actually probably the biggest thing I miss after having moved to Mastodon (fortunately, the all-important Samuel Pepys bot has come across).
- Use of paid-only APIs virtually always stagnates. If there's a free tier, hobbyists and students can do interesting things with them, and this drives innovation. Most of Twitter's important features (retweets, quote tweets, hashtags, etc etc) ultimately originated in third party clients, not from Twitter itself.
- A free API makes it less frictionful for companies to try twitter out for things. If you want to maybe try showing your website status automatically or auto-track customer tweets at you in your support system or whatever, it's easier if you just hook up the app vs if you have to fill out a purchase order for the API access first.
However, whatever about whether a free API is a good idea, it is clearly a _terrible_ idea to kill it on a week's notice. Even for users who _want_ to pay, with only a week's notice many will never hear about it, if their organisation is remotely bureaucratic it's probably not long enough to get the purchase order approved, etc. There's just no possible reasoning to do it this quickly.
He started a fire in a movie theater and now wants to lock the doors and raise the price on whatever water and extinguishers are on hand.
Some are speculating that some apps that had regular auto-tweets configured to be the culprit, which was later backed with some data, some are making up theories and rituals to protect accounts, some others are making backup accounts on Twitter itself, on Mastodon, or yet another platforms.
This seems like another round of Twitter's footgun towards tumblr, with some users making it out, and bulk of values and the community burning to the ground.
I've used the API since then for on-off things, but the one I'm sore about now is a little Python script I've had running in a nightly cronjob for years that I've used to make local copies of images/videos from tweets I starred (now heart'd). It's a simple bit of code to get all my favorites and download any new ones. (If I recall correctly you need to get all of them, because the response doesn't necessarily give them to you in the order you liked them, so if today you like an old tweet from say 2012 you might have to paginate a while to get it in the response.) Looks like the json of all ~9800 liked tweets I build up to parse for new URLs is 1.5 MB gzipped, it's true their API returns a lot of unnecessary extra data. Currently debating with myself whether to cobble together a new script from one of the existing scrapers (gallery-dl might be easiest), or say screw it and write some Lisp code (more stable than Python) to fire up Selenium and waste more of twitter's bandwidth pretending to be a full browser.
J Twitter is frantically telling all the people to use non Twitter accounts before they lose access.
This will probably destroy a whole bunch of use-cases and motivations for people and organizations to use twitter, but might retain enough of a core (mostly low-information) user base to seed what will practically be an entirely new venture but one with a recognizable name. There might, for example, be new API's, for corporates to push product algorithmically and embed instant, buy now - pay later, buttons.
I've been using a Jekyll plugin for like 4 years to embed tweets on my site. Nothing crazy, just using: https://github.com/rob-murray/jekyll-twitter-plugin
Since it uses the API I guess that's going to go away. Sounds like I'll never link another tweet on my site again.
The sooner accounts like celebs, governments, etc realize it and move on - the better
I have a Twitter bot with a couple thousand followers using Ifttt free plan :/
Looking for an announcement from Ifttt...
Sure, they're probably using the public API right now, but that's just for convenience. Bad actors will ways find a way, this only hurts legit bot owners.
I swear to god replace meth with twitter and it’s sad how many addicts there are.
Academic research? Research something else that’s actually novel.
Making bots? Try building something new in the AI space.
Need to reach your customers in case your service is down? Just use a different host for ur status.whatever.com and email/sms/whatever else them.
Then you make people choose: Twitter or "them".
> Uses Twitter's unofficial API (no rate limits or developer account required)
Not sure what that means
I wonder if this is a good move or one that will hurt the company in the long run.
"tax what you want less of"
However, this company is close to bankruptcy and is sitting on a wealth of interesting data. Ads can provide revenue only up to a certain point, after which UX will be affected. If I were Twitter’s CEO, I would’ve done the same.
Not a good way to go about it in order to engender good will, but I would never recommend building something that you expect to last forever around a free API by a for-profit company (which could be cut at any time). We've seen this movie before.
As for Twitter's demise, I wouldn't count on it. I noticed a toot on Mastodon from someone I used to follow on Twitter mentioning they had 150K followers on Twitter and 1/10th of that on Mastodon. This person is a very harsh Elon (and Tesla) critic, so if anyone were to leave Twitter in protest it would be them. But that would mean losing a 150K audience, so not gonna happen (it's an influence, not money question).
I myself did drop Twitter (though I didn't delete my account mostly in case I want to look someone up there) for Mastodon, but find that I go very little to Mastodon anyway (doesn't have anywhere near Twitter's breadth of content). So basically I've dropped Twitter-like engagement altogether, which is a ReallyGoodThingTM because it was a time sync that added very little value to my life. But I think I'm in a very small minority; most people want to stay connected. I'm still on IG (family/friends photos), and HN (interesting content), but that's it.
The unfortunate bit though is I started using this in college when I had very little money. College students aren't going to cough up money each month to make a meme bot, and this might change the culture of twitter in a negative way
That said, I’m pissed off at Musk for giving so little time, and so little information.
I realise he needs to sort out the bot problem, and needs to diversify Twitter’s revenue streams, but developers have helped create legitimate content on the network, and helped invent a useful ecosystem around it, which in turn has helped Twitter grow its native user base and brand.
I don't think it's a problem to charge a basic fee for these things, but the inscrutability, randomness, and untrustworthiness of Twitter policies and products may reduce the adoption rate for these changes - even if the fee was only $5/mo.
Anyway, almost nothing Elon Musk has said about Twitter seems plausible and this also doesn't.
I'm on the fence if he's trying to just generate as much cash flow as possible (after driving away so much ads money) or if he's actively trying to run Twitter into the ground.
The point is, as with everything musk, EVERYTHING IS POORLY THOUGHT THROUGH!
If you like the service, just pay for it. I pay for a lot of services already and I do not see why Twitter must absolutely be free. Honestly, I prefer a world where people charge for their products because it will make it easier for everyone when people stop expecting great stuff to be free.
I also love how the people who mainly hate on Twitter now is roughly the same people that constantly said "If you don't like how it's being rung, build your own" etc. Now when Musk bought Twitter and thus got ownership fair and square, it does no longer apply?
You can either use Twitter's official clients (and get served the ads from which they profit) or you can use a third party tool that uses the ad-less API but for which the developers must pay for each API call in your place.
I'm sure that research bodies and other particular institutions could strike up a deal with Twitter to get access to special keys at a much reduced price or even for free, but this concept of Twitter making avaiable themselves a way to bypass the only way they make money has always seemed crazy to me. Glad they monetized the API.
Musk is such a looser.
Or simply blocking them.
This seems like more management by manchild. I strongly suspect that Musk realized his promises of cutting down bots etc. were failing and that they either couldn't or wouldn't develop abuse detection, so he's decided to solve the problem by making it cost money, with the (perhaps desired) side effect of crippling academic/analytic research.
As an amateur network science researcher, I'm pretty steamed. I enjoy doing my own network analyses using tools like Gephi and have monitored probably a hundred breaking news or trending issues, as well as amassing a great collection of academic papers by smarter folk than me. I don't run any kind of app or service that sits on top of Twitter, but those who do run legitimate services are now being held hostage because of the unchecked abuse. Ant the failure to deal with botspam is lamentable. Twitter has refused for years to implement even the simplest things like hashing tweets and looking for collisions, or considering the count of edges to the hashtag graph, or even looking at tweet frequency. Many of their abuse problems will continue unabated; the sellers in the market for bogus twitter accounts are likely delighted because they now have a great excuse to raise prices, even though most of their 'product' is produced by hand with cheap labor in poor countries.