Twitter will start charging a fee to access its API, or Application Programming Interface, which developers use to create third-party services.
Elon Musk, who bought the social media platform last October, suggested a subscription of about $100 a month could be put in place when free access ends on Feb. 9.
“Free API is being abused badly right now by bot scammers & opinion manipulators,” Musk tweeted on Thursday. “There’s no verification process or cost, so easy to spin up 100k bots to do bad things.”
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Developers use Twitter’s API to build third-party apps and services, while academics frequently use the API for research.
“Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent over a trillion Tweets, with billions more every week,” the account for Twitter developers tweeted.
“Twitter data are among the world’s most powerful data sets. We’re committed to enabling fast & comprehensive access so you can continue to build with us. We’ll be back with more details on what you can expect next week.”
The monetization of Twitter’s API comes as Musk hunts for new streams of revenue.
Twitter revamped its verification system last year, rolling out a new subscription service for $8 a month that gives users a blue checkmark and other features.
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About half of Twitter’s workforce was cut last year, shortly after Musk closed the $44 billion deal to purchase the company.
The company even auctioned off dozens of memorabilia last month, such as furniture, appliances, a large Twitter bird statues, a giant “@” sculpture, and other items.