Twitter Charging for API Usage
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Twitter Charging for API Usage refers to Twitter ending free access to its API (Application Programming Interface) starting on February 9th, 2023, instead charging up from $149 for a limited number of requests. The controversial change (purportedly stemming from the company's financial struggles following Elon Musk's acquisition) spawned a viral debate in early 2023 as owners of automated gimmick accounts criticized the move, with many accounts announcing that they will cease operation.
On February 2nd, 2023, Twitter announced that starting on February 9th, 2023, the platform will cease free access to its API (Application Programming Interface), instead charging set amounts for API requests starting from $149 for up to 500 requests per month (tweet and pricing table shown below, left and right). The change effectively meant that users running bot accounts, including automated gimmick accounts, would have to pay a sum monthly to continue operations.
The development was met with multiple gimmick accounts announcing they would stop posting content on February 9th, 2023, citing the paid API access as the reason. For example, on February 2nd, 2023, the Twitter gimmick account Every SpongeBob Frame in Order, followed by over 185,000 users, wrote that the account will stop posting (tweet shown below, left). Also that day, gimmick accounts Possum Every Hour (579,000 followers) and Anime, Art and Manga Saucebot (381,000 followers) made similar announcements (tweets shown below, center and right).
Later on February 2nd, Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk cited the abuse of free API access by "bot scammers" and "opinion manipulators" as the reason for the change, with the tweet garnering over 1,700 retweets, 3,600 quote tweets and 8,000 likes in one day (shown below).
The planned change sparked a viral debate on Twitter, with some users also commenting via memes. For example, on February 2nd, Twitter user @jcb posted an Arrested Development meme that gained 40 retweets and 370 likes in one day (shown below, left). Also that day, the Twitter account @tailsgetstrolld posted a Characters Reacting to News meme that garnered over 190 retweets and 1,500 likes in one day (shown below, right).
 Twitter – @TwitterDev
 Twitter – @SbFramesInOrder
 Twitter – @PossumEveryHour
 Twitter – @saucenaopls
 Twitter – @tailsgetstrolld
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Moby The Duck
Feb 03, 2023 at 09:17AM EST in reply to
Feb 03, 2023 at 10:23AM EST
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