Twitter Won’t Block Free API Access for ‘Good’ Bots

  • Twitter plans to charge developers to access the API used to make third-party services and bots. 
  •  Elon Musk has tweeted it would offer a free, write-only API for bots “providing good content.”
  • He said he was “responding to feedback” when he tweeted late Saturday.

Elon Musk has said “bots providing good content” for free will be exempt from Twitter’s controversial proposal to charge for access to the API developers use to make them, after the proposal sparked a backlash.

Saying he was “responding to feedback,” Musk tweeted late Saturday: “Twitter will enable a light, write-only API for bots providing good content that is free.”

Twitter announced on Thursday that it would block free access to its API from February 9. Musk said then that the free access had previously been “abused badly” by “bot scammers & opinion manipulators.”

“Just ~$100/month for API access with ID verification will clean things up greatly,” he tweeted.

Musk’s proposed change might offer a lifeline to popular, free-to-use bots on Twitter — some of which have already announced impending moves to Mastodon in light of the announcement free API access would be blocked.

The developer behind popular bot-creation service Cheap Bots Done Quick, which currently supports around 54,000 Twitter accounts, previously announced that it’s likely to shut down after February 9.

Responding to Musk’s latest comment, they wrote: “or maybe not??? god, who knows any more.”


Neither Twitter nor Musk immediately responded to requests for comment from Insider. 

Twitter currently offers both free and paid packages for its API, according to its website. The Premium package costs between $149 and $2,499 per month, depending on how many tweets a developer requests.

Some popular third-party services, such as Tweetbot and Twitterific, had already been forced to shut down after Twitter blocked them from accessing its API in mid-January.

The proposed API charges follow Musk’s attempts to monetize the blue-check verification process by introducing Twitter Blue, which allowed users to buy blue checkmarks for $8 per month.

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