Twitter introduces cheaper access to user data through premium APIs

Doris Richards
November 15, 2017

Twitter launched a set of premium application programming interfaces that will give developers access to more data such as Tweets per request as well as more complex queries.

Twitter is predominantly an advertising company, but it also sells data.

Some businesses pay the Twitter thousands of dollars per year for what Twitter calls "enterprise APIs" or access to additional information about people's tweets.

"The new premium APIs bring the reliability and stability of our enterprise APIs to our broader developer ecosystem for the first time", wrote Adam Tornes, a senior product manager at Twitter. At a cost of $149/month, it's the first of what Twitter promises will be several premium APIs that are scheduled to appear in the coming months. Developers seeking access to the new service will need to provide more information about themselves and how they plan to use the data, which wasn't necessary to access the free version.

Pricing for the new premium APIs starts at $149 per month, and is available now in a public beta.

With the premium APIs, developers can receive 500 tweets per request, 1024-character query length (up from 256), 60 requests per minute, and 10 requests per second, along with URL, polling, and public geo enrichments. Twitter's current offerings include free access to seven days worth of tweets, or buying the entire historical archive for thousands of dollars per year.


Twitter is also going to launch a self-serve developer portal for those using the premium APIs, with the goal of providing more "transparency" around data usage.

Premium APIs shouldn't be a surprise, as they were featured in the developer roadmap Twitter published earlier this year.

Developers will likely welcome this solution, though many will also say it's long overdue.

Twitter has unveiled a new option for developers that want to interact with the social media platform. Now, Twitter is trying to come up with ways to sell more data to offset the fact that its advertising business is shrinking. Considering that Twitter's total business is shrinking, data licensing has been one of the company's bright spots.

And I'm sure Twitter will be excited about the new revenue stream, too, as developers crack open their wallets for this new tool. That should help the company catch more malicious users at sign-up.

Developers may be able to replicate some of these functions by processing fetched data, but Twitter's fee in part covers the convenience of not having to craft that code.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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