Twitter introduces cheaper access to user data through premium APIs

Trying to catch money in a net

But an enterprise version for big brands was too expensive for developers, while a free version didn't provide enough data.

In his apology at the company's second Twitter Flight developer conference that year, CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledged that Twitter's developer policies had been unpredictable and asked for another chance.

The new products are called Twitter Premium APIs, and they're created to offer expanded access to Twitter data beyond what's now available in the free APIs.

Twitter's API rate limit has been a headache for developers since a 2012 blog post when the company declared that developers need permission if their apps would "require more than 100,000 individual user tokens". This is a marked difference from the company's Gnip offering, as it lets developers pay monthly instead of annually.

Personally, I'm excited. A new middle-ground API means that developers will be able to use Twitter's data in more elaborate and adventurous ways, resulting in some really interesting products. It will later include an additional endpoint that will enable access to the full history of Twitter data, back to the first tweet. In addition, rolling out over the "coming weeks" will be support for additional tweets per request, higher rate limits, more complex queries, and more.

Pricing for the new premium APIs starts at $149 per month, and is available now in a public beta.

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Developers will get a self-serve portal to monitor data usage, manage subscriptions and payments. "They include a clear upgrade path that scales access and price to fit your needs".

The ability to pay for expanded access is something Twitter's developer community has demanded for years, and seemed an obvious step for Twitter in terms of growing its revenue.

The lack of paid access in between the free and enterprise APIs had limited the ability for developers to grow a business on top of Twitter. This issue was again raised during Twitter's 2015 #HelloWorld tour, in which Dorsey apologized for the company's rocky relationship with developers and invited them to submit their specific concerns. Indeed, this sort of thing has been on developer wish-lists for some time now. Considering that Twitter's total business is shrinking, data licensing has been one of the company's bright spots.

The service will also generate new revenue at a company struggling to expand beyond a niche group of users.

Developers can stay tuned into this and other API news and information via Twitter's public roadmap, forum and new developer resource center containing documentation and guidance.

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