Elon Musk says Twitter will present a free write-only API to bots offering ‘good’ content material • TechCrunch

Final week, Twitter stated it’s shutting down free access to its APIs beginning February 9. Now, days earlier than the deadline, Elon Musk stated that after getting suggestions from builders, Twitter will present a write-only API for “bots offering good content material that’s free.”

This resolution is as opaque as among the different coverage choices underneath Musk’s administration. There isn’t any data on what constitutes “good content material” and who will resolve that. Nevertheless, if Twitter finally ends up implementing this rule, some bots will get a brand new lifeline on the social community.

Beforehand, Twitter shuttered API access to third-party clients saying they broke a “long-standing rule” with none specification. Then the corporate silently updated its developer terms to mirror that app can’t  “use or entry the Licensed Supplies to create or try to create a substitute or related service or product to the Twitter Functions.”

Following the announcement, plenty of builders who made enjoyable of bots criticized the decision saying that their automation offered free content material to individuals and in flip enhanced the companies. Final week, Buzzfeed interviewed several bot developers who have been sad with the choice. These embrace @_restaurant_bot which tweets random photographs of eating places and @_weather_bot_which tweets photographs of various locations with climate updates.

In the intervening time, it’s not clear if accounts like @BigTechAlert, which tweets about massive tech execs and organizations following and unfollowing one another, can be eligible for this free tier as they may must scan account data.

Darius Kazemi, a developer who has made over 80 bots and even organized a bot devs summit in 2016, instructed TechCrunch over a name that these automated accounts have been an integral a part of Twitter for years. He stated that a few of these bots with 1000’s of followers deliver pleasure to many individuals every day.

He talked about that it could be pricey to take care of these bots who’re offering free content material to the platform

“I’ve greater than 80 bots on Twitter so it could take me a number of thousand {dollars} to maintain them up yearly and I can’t afford that type of cash,” he stated.

Musk has been attempting to generate extra income for Twitter with strikes like a brand new pricey subscription plan and ramping up advert cash. He additionally plans to point out advertisements in replies to share revenue with creators. Whereas the small print on how it will work are skinny, the Twitter CEO stated that solely Blue Subscribers can earn this money. So it’s possible that content material bots received’t earn cash even when advertisements are displayed on their accounts or in replies under their tweets.

Twitter’s free API discontinuation doesn’t simply have an effect on bot builders. There are tons of pupil builders and hate speech or misinformation researchers who may not have a funds to pay a month-to-month payment. Twitter’s v2 API had particular entry for teachers however that may not be the case underneath the brand new API guidelines.

Builders have additionally pointed out that plenty of bots spreading spam don’t use truly use the official API. So the corporate’s intention to close down free API to weed out spam may not work nicely.

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