Twitter debuts mid-level data access plan, with almost immediate backlash | CNN Business
Twitter on Thursday unveiled a new level of data access aimed at attracting startups, after its decision to erect a paywall for developers and researchers sparked widespread backlash. But the new level already has it describing like “too little, too late.”
The new paid tier, which the company calls “Pro,” costs $5,000 per month and allows subscribers to retrieve one million tweets per month, according to the company. announced. The offer also allows the monthly publication of up to 300,000 automated tweets.
Under owner Elon Musk, Twitter has been struggling to find new ways to boost revenue to offset declines from an exodus of advertisers and to help recoup the billions it spent buying the company.
But the addition of an intermediate tier between Twitter’s Basic and Enterprise tiers reflects pushback from users who have said their plans severely restrict the amount of data that can be accessed or published through Twitter’s programming interface Twitter applications (API). A business plan starts at $42,000 per month and can cost up to $210,000 per month.
Public institutions like New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority have made headlines for pulling their real-time service alerts from Twitter through the paywall. The MTA later hit back after Twitter backtracked and said eligible government and utility accounts would continue to be able to post automated tweets for free.
But hours after its launch, even the new Pro tier is being criticized as still unaffordable for many startups and coming too late to save others that have already been shut down by the paywall of Twitter.
Responses to the Twitter announcement are full of complaints that “the 5k jump is too much,” as one user responded.
“1.66 cents per tweet… I mean, is it cheaper to send emails these days and it’s 1.66 cents for 280 characters?” came another reply.
“That’s great, but you’ve already killed most of the Twitter apps,” said another user. “5K is still too much for most of us. A 1K plan might make sense…but again, it’s too late.”
Others suggested that a level of $500 per month would be “more appropriate.”
The new payment level comes amid a report that Twitter has required researchers to delete data they downloaded from the platform before the paywall went into effect, unless they agree to pay for an enterprise plan.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.