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Twitter has made an exception to the paid structure it has put around access to its API. Normally, companies have to pay a subscription fee to access the Twitter API, but it gives the green light for automatic alerts aimed at serving public information.

It means tweets for emergency messages from the government or weather updates can be automated for free. Once an account passes the verification check, it gains access to the Twitter API.


Despite the good intentions, the exemption adds another layer of complexity to the structure of Twitter’s API offerings. After it introduced the fee-based API service, it quickly appeared to restrict parties who wanted to provide people with public information. For example, public alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service and the New York subway service could not be continued due to the limitation to 1,500 automated tweets per month. Twitter did not provide further information about any restrictions that might accompany the newly announced exemption for free access to the API.

This is not the first time the company has been unclear about a policy change to its services. For example, it first announced that the free API access would not go into effect until a month later, then a week later decided to implement the shutdown right away.The final shutdown of free APIs caused many problems for several apps and websites, including third-party providers of Twitter content.

Microsoft has since thrown Twitter out of its advertising platform, again because of the change in API policy that Twitter implemented. In addition, WordPress stopped supporting the platform.

Also read: Why is Microsoft throwing Twitter out of its ad tools?