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Twitter’s $42,000-per-Month API Prices Out Nearly Everyone

Twitter’s $42,000-per-Month API Prices Out Nearly Everyone

Since the launch of Twitter in 2006, the company acted as something of a heartbeat for social media conversation. This is partly because it’s where media people go to talk about media, but also because he’s been willing to open up his backend to searchers. Academics used free access to Twitter’s API, or application programming interface, to access data about the types of conversations happening on the platform, which helps them understand what’s going on. the online world.

The Twitter API is used by a large number of researchers. Since 2020, there have been more than 17,500 academic papers based on data from the platform, bolstering the argument that Twitter owner Elon Musk has long asserted that the platform is the “de facto town square”.

But new charges, included in documentation seen by WIRED, suggest that most organizations that have relied on API access to conduct research will now be barred from using Twitter.

This is the end of a long and complicated process. February 2, Announced musk API access would go behind a paywall within a week. (Those who produced “good” content would be exempt.) A week later, he delayed the decision to February 13. Unsurprisingly, this deadline was also exceeded, because Twitter suffered a catastrophic failure.

The company now offers three tiers of enterprise packages to its developer platform, according to a document sent by a Twitter representative to prospective college customers in early March and forwarded to WIRED. The cheapest, Small Package, provides access to 50 million tweets for $42,000 per month. Higher tiers allow researchers or businesses to access larger volumes of tweets – 100 million and 200 million tweets respectively – and cost $125,000 and $210,000 per month. WIRED confirmed the numbers with other existing free API users, who received emails indicating that the new pricing plans will take effect in a few months.

“I don’t know if there’s an academic on the planet who could afford $42,000 a month for Twitter,” says Jeremy Blackburn, assistant professor at Binghamton University in New York and member of the iDRAMA Lab. , which analyzes hate speech on social networks. — including on Twitter.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

For subscribers to the lowest priced plan, the number of rules through which they can filter data from the application’s Real Time PowerTrack API will be capped at 25,000, and the number of requests from the Full Archive Search API will be capped at 50,000. The number of Twitter handles they can analyze through the Account Activity API will also be capped at 5,000, and there will be a maximum of 20 requests per minute for the Engagement API totals endpointwhich allows researchers to see how well tweets are doing in terms of engagement.

Although this looks like a substantial dataset, it only represents approximately 0.3% of monthly Twitter production, meaning it’s far from a complete snapshot of activity on the platform. Free access to the Twitter API gave researchers access to 1% of all tweets.

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