I’m familiar with the Twitter APIs and have built sentiment analysis, sensitive suicide prevention bot with its standard API (1.1) in the last few years. I sort of know how Twitter APIs work, or so I thought.
2023: Twitter API 2.0
Fast forward to April 2023. Twitter Dev made an announcement that it will take down its Standard API 1.1 version on 29thApril 2023. The paid Twitter API plans are either exorbitant ($42000/month for enterprise-plan), or they are of little use to the small tool makers ($100/month basic-plan for 3000 post calls/month).
Twitter still offers free-plan for its API version 2.0, but it mentions “write-only” access with cap of 1500 calls/month. This was confusing because often write access is not without the read access. In fact, the former is inexpensive and gets included in the most free plans.
Since I couldn’t get any explanation on the read-access for twitter with the free plan, I decided to try free plan myself to figure it out. As of today (20th April 2023) – I still don’t find any publicly available document, blog (including tweeter’s own community) that explains what all APIs, features are included in the Twitter API 2.0 free-plan. So here I go.
Twitter API 2.0 (Free Plan)
I wanted to build a simple CLI tool with Twitter APIs that will track a few growth metrics for its user. I had planned “use your own API key” approach to distribute this standalone tool. For my initial PoC, I built a simple tool with Twitter API 1.1 that created an Excel report for a single use case. It worked great with my keys/tokens from API 1.1 and I got some good feedback for the report my tool MVP generated.
Next step for me was to get this tool working with API 2.0 on my free plan (since I wanted people to use their own keys/tokens from their free plan). To my surprise (euphemism for horror), I found that the free-plan allows only 3 API endpoints – yes only three. Moreover, one of them only gets your ID, name & username from the twitter – how useful, no?
Here are those three API endpoints from the free plan for Twitter API 2.0 –
- Create a tweet:
- Delete a tweet:
- Lookup yourself (me API):
Interestingly, the third free-plan API doesn’t allows you to query any other user, you can only query yourself (
me API). I couldn’t get details for any other user with my (limited) experiments with that API. 🤷🏽♂️
To understand this limitation better, see the screenshot from my twitter developer account below. This screen sums up what all you can do currently with Twitter’s API 2.0 in the free-plan.
Considering the Twitter APIs available in the free-plan, it is quite evident that this plan is of little use to developers, tinkerers who have built some useful tool, bots for Twitter over the years with free APIs. I don’t know if anyone could do something useful with this free-plan for Twitter API 2.0 (login-with-twitter is the only useful use case I see here).
I can completely understand the frustration of indie hackers, twitter tool makers with the new API pricing and why they are choosing to shut down their tools, bots these days. 😦
You can compare the Twitter API 2.0 pricing plans for features, APIs, access levels they offer and decide yourself if any one of them is suitable for you.
Lastly, a small dose of laughter (and truth) from Twitter itself –