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Elon Musk recently announced that Twitter would offer a free write-only API to eligible automated accounts that provide free content.
According to Twitter owner Elon Musk, the social media giant will provide a free write-only API for bots that offer good content. Musk made this announcement a few days after Twitter said it would soon begin charging developers for access to its API. Reports say that the company decided to make some concessions regarding API access and usage after getting feedback from developers.
However, this latest decision remains as vague as some other policy decisions taken under Musk’s management. For instance, what constitutes “good content” remains unclear as there is no information regarding this metric or who decides. Nonetheless, some bots will receive a new lifeline on the network once Twitter implements this rule.
The Twitter decision to offer a write-only API to bots that provide good, free content also forms part of Musk’s sweeping restructuring plans at the company. Since taking over the popular microblogging platform last October, Musk has expressed intent to monetize Twitter to the hilt. In addition, the Tesla chief executive also made some notable changes to Twitter’s operability, such as a blue checkmark subscription.
Twitter Free API Development Comes on Heels of Third-Party Client Suspension
Twitter suspended API access to third-party clients in the second week of last month. At the time, the social media giant explained that these clients broke a long-standing rule but did not provide further specifications. Popular Twitter clients affected by the shutdown included Tweetbot, Twitterrific, and Echofon.
A few days after the third-party client suspension, Twitter silently updated its developer terms to ban third-party clients altogether. This official ban implied that apps cannot access “Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute, similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.”
At the moment, it remains unclear if certain accounts which tweet about the ‘followership’ status of big tech execs and organizations are eligible for the free API tier. Nonetheless, seasoned bot developer Darius Kazemi believes that most automated accounts should benefit from the new Twitter API announcement because ‘bots’ have been integral to the social media platform for years. Furthermore, Kazemi added that many of these bots, which boast thousands of followers, bring joy to countless people daily.
Also pointing out the potential cost implications of maintaining automated accounts that provide free content on Twitter, Kazemi said:
“I have more than 80 bots on Twitter so it would take me several thousand dollars to keep them up every year and I can’t afford that kind of money.”
Musk All Out to Make Twitter Supremely Profitable
Kazemi’s stance on potentially costly bot accounts diametrically opposes Musk’s maximal Twitter monetization and capitalist-driven policies. In addition to ramping up ad money, the Tesla CEO also proposed charging users a fee for the vaunted Twitter ‘blue tick.’ The so-called Twitter account verification status is available to anyone willing to pay an $8 subscription fee.
Furthermore, the brash businessman also added that the subscription would draw other perks, such as enhanced video/audio posting and user prioritization.