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Twitter made an API consideration for some accounts that are being used for public announcements. In its recent post, the Twitter Dev team confirmed that such accounts can now use its API for free.
One of the most important use cases for the Twitter API has always been public utility. Verified gov or publicly owned services who tweet weather alerts, transport updates and emergency notifications may use the API, for these critical purposes, for free.
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) May 2, 2023
In March, Twitter announced its API pricing, which features three tiers: Free, Basic, and Enterprise. While the first tier provides 1,500 tweets per month, the number is insufficient for accounts providing constant public announcements. As such, it is a delight that Twitter made some changes. However, it is important to note that this has some limitations — it will only cover specific accounts that are verified as public or government services.
“One of the most important use cases for the Twitter API has always been public utility,” the team tweets. “Verified gov or publicly owned services who tweet weather alerts, transport updates and emergency notifications may use the API, for these critical purposes, for free.”
The announcement is good news for specific organizations that formerly expressed their issues caused by the API pricing being imposed by Twitter. Some include the Metro Transit Service of New York and the National Weather Services.
On the other hand, while the news should please the public and government accounts, the rest of the API structure is still a problem for many. To start, the 1,500 tweets per month limit is still pretty limiting. As for small developers and startups that used to depend on Twitter API, the Basic tier “for hobbyists” that offers 10,000 GET/month and 50,000 POST/month is probably still not enough. This could push them to resort to the Enterprise plan, which, unfortunately, costs a whopping $42,000 per month.