Twitter Introduces New API Tier for Startups at $5000 Per Month

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Twitter’s API roller coaster continues under Elon Musk. Today, the firm unveiled a new “Pro” tier for developers. It costs $5,000 a month, which places it between the $100 Basic and custom-priced Enterprise options.

The new Twitter API Pro plan provides monthly app-level access to one million tweets retrieved and 300,000 tweets posted. In addition, it provides rate-limited access to endpoints for real-time filtered streams (live access to tweets based on specified parameters) and a comprehensive archive search for historical tweets. Finally, it adds three app IDs and Twitter access via Login.

However, the $5,000 / month price tag for businesses wishing to “experiment, build, and scale” their operations leave a significant chasm between it and the $100 / month baseline plan, the next tier down. The latter only provides a minuscule portion of the Pro plan’s access, leaving small businesses to choose between a level that may not provide enough for a $100 monthly fee or a $5,000 plan that exceeds the budgets of many enterprises.

Some users also said they thought it was too limited for the price. “That’s cool, but you already killed most Twitter apps by now,” said Maxime Dupré, the creator of Birdy, in response to Twitter’s statement. “And for most of us, $5,000 is still too much. A $1000 plan might make sense, but it’s too late now.” Researchers probably won’t benefit much from the price either, since the platform has been trying to charge them tens of thousands of dollars to use it.

Recent adjustments to Twitter’s API have made it difficult for developers to continue to access the company’s data. The majority of the company’s third-party clients were effectively terminated in January before the terms of service were discreetly updated to reflect the change. The company then announced in February that it was discontinuing free API access, but promised that a new read-only version of the free tier would continue to be available for “testing” purposes.

The previous version of the free API was completely disabled in April, but Twitter reactivated it for emergency services in May. In March, the platform released the new API’s first three tiers (free, basic, and enterprise) before adding the $5,000 premium tier today. As the company has already alienated many of the developers who once relied on its platform, it remains to be seen how effective it will be at luring new customers, particularly smaller businesses, into the costly new plan.

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