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Twitter will start charging developers for access to its API starting February 9th

Developers will soon have to pay Twitter to use its API. The website has announced via its Twitter Dev account that it will no longer support free access to its API, both versions 1.1 and 2, as of February 9th. It will introduce a “paid base tier” instead, but the company hasn’t revealed how much it would cost. Ever since Elon Musk took over, Twitter has been experimenting with new ways to make more money. The biggest change so far has been Twitter Blue, which has evolved into an $8-$11 per month subscription service that allows users to purchase the site’s previously elusive blue tick.

A New York Times According to a report last year, Musk and his advisors were also discussing the possibility of adding paid direct messages and videos behind a paywall. They were even reportedly considering reviving Vine, his short-form video app that was discontinued in 2016. Musk has explored all possible sources of income to pay for the loans he took out when he bought Twitter for $44 billion. When The information notes that he borrowed $13 billion from a group of banks to complete the deal, and they were unable to sell the debt to investors as planned. The company now has to pay $1.5 billion a year in interest alone.

Twitter showed signs it had plans to change the way developers access its APIs when third-party clients like Tweetbot suddenly stopped working in January. The company later confirmed that it intentionally blocked access due to “longstanding API rules,” although it previously removed the section in its developer guidelines that prevented app makers from building anything similar to its core service. A few days after the third-party Twitter client went down, the site updated its developer agreement to prohibit access to its “licensed materials to create or attempt to create a replacement or similar service or product for the Twitter Applications.”

“Twitter data is some of the most powerful data sets in the world,” the company wrote in a follow-up tweet. “We’re committed to providing fast and comprehensive access so you can keep building with us.” While it’s pretty clear that Twitter intends to charge developers for using its API, it didn’t say if it would make exceptions for researchers. Twitter offers specialized access to its API for academic researchand scientists have used data from the site for their studies in a variety of fields, including health and politics.

The site promises to release more details about the new “paid base tier” for its API next week.

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