Elon Musk’s tweet displayed on a phone screen and the Twitter logo displayed on the screen in the background are seen in this illustration taken in Krakow, Poland, on December 21, 2022.

Yakub Pazhytsky | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Twitter will begin charging developers for access to its API, a vital tool that powers popular services like TweetDelete and bots that send users real-time data prompts.

The microblogging site, which was taken over by Elon Musk last October, said that as of February 9, it “will no longer support free access to the Twitter API.”

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According to the company, third-party services that use the Twitter API will have to use its basic paid tier.

“Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent more than a trillion tweets, with billions added every week,” the official Twitter account tweeted Wednesday night.

“Twitter’s data is some of the most powerful datasets in the world. We’re committed to providing fast and complete access so you can keep building with us.”

APIs are software tools used by third-party developers to access data from applications and use it to create new services.

The Twitter API, which comes in both free and paid versions, is used by thousands of developers for everything from setting reminders to communicating changes to specific Twitter accounts.

Researchers, meanwhile, are using a tool to track hate speech and misinformation online.

The Twitter API is also used by the news gathering service Dataminr to alert journalists to information that appears on Twitter in real time.

Previously, Twitter blocked third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific from its API. Users and developers have also complained that some third-party apps become unusable.

Since becoming CEO of Twitter, Musk has sought to drastically cut costs and improve monetization.

The billionaire is trying to turn Twitter into a profitable venture in an attempt to recoup the investment he made when he bought the company for a whopping $44 billion.

Under his leadership, Twitter laid off about half of its workforce and added a verification icon to its paid subscription product, Twitter Blue.

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