Linked – Twitter to end free access to its API in Elon Musk’s latest monetization push

This is certainly a choice:

“Twitter will discontinue offering free access to the Twitter API starting February 9 and will launch a paid version, the Elon Musk-owned microblogging website said as it looks for more avenues to monetize the platform.”

It’s unclear at this early point what this will mean for the many tools that rely on the Twitter API. I suspect many casual Twitter users are looking at this and thinking this is a move to get rid of bots and such and eliminate some of the more egregious behavior on the platform. Still, I suspect that this is also going to make the platform much harder to work with for anyone who is not sitting on the Twitter homepage or app and writing a post from there.

Think about it, services that tell you how many times your post has been shared on Twitter, auto-posting from a blog, automation involving automatic sharing of links, and scheduling of tweets, many of these things involve the API. Many of the tools we all use to share content on Twitter with minimal effort could either be gone or become more expensive next week. That will push a lot of excellent content out of the platform. All those people you follow, so you’ll see when they post new stuff to their blog or share information with you from other sources, might disappear from Twitter.

Maybe it really is time to start learning about RSS feed readers.

Updated to addElon Musk drove more than a million people to Mastodon – but many aren’t sticking around – another reason to wonder if going back to RSS is the answer. I’ve toyed around with Mastodon. It isn’t easy to get started creating an account. Finding quality people to follow is difficult, and interacting with some third-party tools will be near impossible for the casual Twitter user. It will not replace Twitter for the many people who use it for news-gathering, community-building, and content marketing. It will have its niche, but it’ll never be a replacement. Maybe that’s the future—lots of niche platforms similar to the forums of old and other apps where we read our news. It’s hard to say. We should learn from all of this that reliance on one network is a bad idea when that business can change things at the drop of a hat. Make sure you have a “home” that you own.

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