- announced at 10pm - basically a week to decide what to do with your dev project - No information to help you make that decision

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.

A huge concern that no one seems to be mentioning is that pretty much all academic data sets that used the Twitter API were required by the TOS to only be released publicly with the tweet ids, not the content of the tweet. Some of these have hundreds of thousands of tweets, and the only way to check the work of the researchers, or to build on it, is to use the api to reseed everything yourself.

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.

Okay, so this one is nearly making me buy into those conspiracy theories that Musk is deliberately breaking Twitter because 4d chess (only nearly; this is incompetence rather than anything else).

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.

We have a business that relies on the Twitter API. I don’t mind paying to access the API, but the way they’re handling this makes me want to deprecate support for Twitter entirely. I am only learning about this change from this thread. Even worse, we only have 7 days to react.
I'm still surprised that anyone expected the acquisition of Twitter by a billionaire with a long demonstrated lack of empathy, social grace or self awareness would go at all well.

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.

There is also a massive ban wave is going on, some people are claiming to have lost followers overnight in three to four digits and losing following account as well - mostly content creators with years worth of organic posts. Extra salt to the wounds is the horde of spam bots don't seem too affected, if at all, because they don't show up on Firehose too often, which is probably how this newly implemented spam filtering picks up contents to decide on.

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.

Time to crawl! You can use something like Webrecorder, which IPFS also uses to pin tweets:



One of my first programming jobs involved helping the boss make a twitter sharecropping service. I remember at some point after that project twitter made a big TOS/API change and crippled a wave of startups at the time. I was doing something else by then but it was a good warning to not let myself ever depend too much on sharecropping; over the years I've seen a lot of people learn that lesson the hard way.

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.

This is why I will never build a company based around a free API from a for-profit company. I'd never be able to sleep well at night knowing that years of work and all the employees/families that depend on the business is dependent on someone who could wake up one day and decide on a whim to end access.
Twitter probably doesn't care about non US stuff, but RIP Japan Twitter. They use the free API for so much.

J Twitter is frantically telling all the people to use non Twitter accounts before they lose access.

At some point I saw speculation that the idea is to turn twitter into some sort of super-app like wechat. If that is true then it makes sense to button down loose "ecosystem" thingies that were setup during a more innocent and hopeful era.

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.

Wow this is disruptive given it's less than 1 week's notice.

I've been using a Jekyll plugin for like 4 years to embed tweets on my site. Nothing crazy, just using:

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.

Guys, Twitter is we knew it is dead, it might even completely die soon.

The sooner accounts like celebs, governments, etc realize it and move on - the better

Just migrated my infosec early warning bot (search for #zeroday etc. plus a spam filter) to Mastodon. Goodbye and good riddance Twitter! Thinking also of all these data science courses that need to be updated now, I did two on edX and both had a Twitter project afair. Maybe they just do the same.
Better export those Mastodon accounts whilst you can!

This will impact the "RSS to Twitter" function form right?

I have a Twitter bot with a couple thousand followers using Ifttt free plan :/

Looking for an announcement from Ifttt...

I’ve got a couple of dev accounts on Twitter and I still don’t think I’ve received an email about this. I wonder how many people will find out about this for the first time when their app breaks.
My guess is that (in addition to bot things) this is aimed at taking down e.g. Mastodon crosspost.
This makes sense... let's switch lightweight mostly-text API usage to full page scraping... this will cost Twitter a lot.
That sucks. I have some personal Twitter automation scripts that only make 20 requests per week or so. No way I could justify paying for API access for something small like that.
I don't buy that reason. Malicious bot owners will just run automated browsers and use the regular UI, or MITM the private API used by the apps.

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.

is it really that hard to just not use twitter?

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 and email/sms/whatever else them.

It's about cutting off any free exit ramps (people that use bots to xpost and tools that allow you to find/follow friends on new platforms), same as before.

Then you make people choose: Twitter or "them".

Will this affect SSO with twitter? It should since SSO apps are API V1.1/v2 apps right?
One week to the introduction of a paid tier, and I haven't even received an email to notify me of the change. Surely your joking Mr Musk!
More like cutting down the alternative clients. Kinda reminds me facebook limiting API access to "protect privacy" (and kill the way to scrap posts, so you can make an app with a different feed ordering). Though, still instagram is full of porn/spam bots with names annapeterson20243324 and the same profile description.
Does Nitter use the API?

> Uses Twitter's unofficial API (no rate limits or developer account required)[0]

Not sure what that means


Any word on whether this includes OAuth? I’ve been thinking I should deprioritise the “Login with Twitter” button anyway…
I'm reminded of the saying:

  "tax what you want less of"
I wonder if this is a good move or one that will hurt the company in the long run.
RIP all twitter bots, apps & CRM tooling!
I think I’m in the minority here, but I understand and support this decision. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it: this move is bad for the internet and freedom of information.

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.

How many news websites/blogs/things of that nature are still going to have Twitter accounts that link to their new posts? BBC Breaking probably will, but will Daring Fireball?
Enjoy just for the phrase "Vichy Twitter".
I can't find any details about the basic API. It's ridiculous to do something like this without giving people concrete details about the paid plan. Also, their current premium plan is astronomically expensive. It's apparently about $150 for 500 requests!
I think Elon is just trying to boost revenue. They have a product that isn't being fully monetized, so he's trying to squeeze a little more out of it. Pretty good business move to be honest. I haven't checked the pricing for the basic tier, but as long as it's reasonable and most indie devs can afford it, I'd say this is a good move. (I've used the free API before for side projects, and I would probably pay for access as long as the price isn't too crazy)
this was clearly telegraphed some weeks ago when they cut off Twitter apps (Tweetbot at the like).

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.

Musk is an idiot. This is just another example of idiocy ... the best thing he provided was a meme face....and the sad face meme
That's another project cancelled. Thankfully not much invested in it.
As someone who's currently using the twitter API, this sucks, but I get 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

I wonder how many people have decided that rather than move to Mastodon, Post, Cohost, or any of the other social networks, they don’t really need a Twitter-like service in their lives. How many people are fed up with Twitter and deciding to just drop it rather than move?
Oh... is Nitter based on the API protocol is using the javascript obfuscated web browser protocol?
Does this mean that all third party Twitter clients that don't scrape will require payment?
It makes me sad. But is it Musks way of cutting costs by ending free access to the API ? Perhaps this move is aimed at reducing infrastructure expenses for the company in addition to solving the bots issue and may be introduce additional revenue stream ?
$149/month for 500 requests, good lord.
If you're looking to transition to Mastodon I built a browser extension which might help. The extension injects your Mastodon timeline into Twitter, so you can for example follow some of the bots and accounts that will no longer be on Twitter (the ElonJet account being a particularly good example) and still see their posts on Twitter. It won't be affected by these API changes and should be a nice way to dip your feet into Mastodon if you haven't already.

If it’s a reasonable price I don’t mind paying a bit to keep my hobby projects going. To be honest I’m surprised I’ve had free access to Twitter’s graph for so long.

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.

Sad, I have a hacker news Vim bot, he doesn't even tweet that often.


I reduced all my Twitter follows to basically road traffic and weather accounts. I'm wary about how much of this will continue to be available after these APIs go pay-only.

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.

I have a hard time believing that bots were using the free API and Twitter wasn't able to shut them down easily. Even a mediocre programmer could do that.

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.

Is there some law which says Musks other assets cannot be seized when the inevitable bankruptcy happens? Is see a lot of "it's 4d chess" comments and I keep thinking: wait, he has all these other assets: in the jurisdictions I live in he would be forced to meet his debts from Tesla and spacex shares.
This wasn't handled very well, but… I do think it's the right thing to do. If you have a service that depends on something else (API) to make money, it's not unreasonable that you should have to pay a reasonable fee to that service.
I think the main reasoning behind this is to get news orgs to pay to get their articles pushed to twitter. And its less costly than hiring someone to do it.

The point is, as with everything musk, EVERYTHING IS POORLY THOUGHT THROUGH!

RIP Markdown Tweet Scheduler [1], you worked great while you lasted.


Very short notice but otherwise I don't get why people are mad that it is going paid only. Try making an API request to Instagram or the other thousands of large websites that doesn't evne have an api.

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?

They are doing that for give an small step backward next week, giving the impression that they are hearing the users. Hopefully it’ll give a narrow free api usage…
Last chance to use ?
I don't understand the problem.

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.

500 requests for $150 seems like inadequate pricing.
Frankly, I'm surprised Twitter gave out free API access at all. Bots have been the biggest problem for its platform for so long.
Honestly the amount of money hedge funds and high frequency traders make from twitter is insane. API could be profitable for huge amounts!
If your business model relies on a valuable service you're receiving being predictably free, it's bad business model.
I imagine this will clear out a lot of bots
Still no information about API pricing?
I tried to create a Twitter account for my new startup a couple of days ago. Wanted a business account to promote my app and get feedback from users. But it was simply impossible. The signup didn’t work. I gave up and went with Instagram instead. Much better experience. And I’ve already spent a big pot of money there on ads. Very happy with it.

Musk is such a looser.

Does this affect auth with twitter?
And the price is not affordable, 150 per month !!
Heh, 420 comments. Musk’s going to love that.
Don't threaten us with a good time /s
Twitter is going into code Red when news organizations are going to start charging Twitter for use of their site...

Or simply blocking them.

Just when Snort is picking up...
I mean, fair enough man.
What a joke
@dang wondering why this rather major tech story doesn't make the front page, when stories with fewer points that were posted much earlier have. The lack of transparency is actively hindering HN's news functionality.
Something that was free is no longer free. More news at 11.
I remember when steam came out people absolutely lost their shit. They rallied against it hardcore because they wanted complete control and ownership of their games. The single image that sticks in my mind is an animated gif someone made of the steam logo, two connecting rods, cycling back and forth like one of those mechanical fucking machines, fucking a guy in the ass. It was the same kind of juvenile vitriol that is currently on display. Imagine those people had been successful, and they might have been. Steam is beloved by everyone and is a huge and important part of gaming today. And why couldn’t those people just have an open mind about it? Why couldn’t they see past their own noses?