Twitter makes its API free for government and public agencies


A few weeks ago, Twitter decided to discontinue its free API, making it paid, which caused significant issues for public institutions that relied on it for public safety announcements. However, the company seems to be backtracking on its decision, making the API free-to-use once again for verified government and publicly-owned services that use the tool for “critical purposes,” including emergency notifications, transportation updates, and weather alerts.
“One of the most important use cases for the Twitter API has always been public utility. Verified gov or publicly owned services who tweet weather alerts, transport updates and emergency notifications may use the API, for these critical purposes, for free,” said Twitter in a tweet.
Last month, Twitter unveiled its new API pricing tiers, which included a limit of 1,500 tweets per month for free API tier users and 3,000 tweets per month for basic tier users who paid $100. However, these limitations were insufficient for public service announcement accounts, as they posts more than the deemed tweets each month.
The change caused problems for various accounts, especially those which shared public safety announcements related to weather, transport, and emergencies, as they relied on it for sharing and content streams.

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it was being charged $50,000 per month fees for API access, forcing it to stop posting service alerts on Twitter.
Microsoft removed the option for Twitter from its social media sharing tool for advertisers. Then, Flipboard said that its Twitter integration had ceased to function. WordPress also announced that users could no longer automatically share their posts on Twitter using the Jetpack Social product.
The access is free for only certain government agencies, which includes weather, transport and emergency. However, there is still no word on if the access will be free for disaster management agencies.


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