Twitter is about to exterminate all your favorite bots.
Twitter’s new policies will lead to the death of the majority of automated accounts. Yes, even those who post different frames of cult films every day.
Twitter has announced that it will discontinue free access to its API starting next week. Soon to access the Twitter API it will be necessary to pay a subscription, the new policies should come into force on February 9th. Elon Musk has not yet announced the cost of accessing the API.
The news was taken with great discouragement by several users. The reason is easily explained: implementing an ‘API tax’ will likely exterminate most Twitter bots. We’re not talking, for the record, about automated accounts created for malicious purposes: such as spreading spam, fraud, and propaganda. Rather, we are talking about all those automated accounts that respond to some form of utility.
From accounts that automatically look for the best photos of kittens and publish them every day, to those that publish a different frame of cult films like Shrek or series like Breaking Bad every hour. And then, all those accounts that can be ‘evoked’ by other users with a tag, and which can be used to merge a thread with several tweets into a single web page, or to trace the name of an actor or actress simply starting from an image of him.
While Twitter has left users in the dark about the details of its upcoming change, many bot creators have resigned themselves to the idea that they will have to shut down their projects.
The creator of Cheap Bots Done Quick explained that if Twitter puts its API usage behind a paywall, his service will probably have to shut down. Cheap Bots Done Quick is a platform designed to help ordinary users, even those without coding skills, easily create a bot. There are over 54,000 bots that rely on Cheap Bots Done Quick.
There are many users who have already communicated to followers that they will probably have to close their bots. These included Alt Text Reader , which helped the visually impaired translate text into an easier-to-read format, as well as SauceBot, a helpful bot that was able to trace the original creators of unattributed artwork.