Why isn’t Twitter charging for their API?

It feels like Twitter’s general attitude towards API developers has increasingly become one of annoyance. The reason the API has become such a pain to Twitter is because they’re just giving it away.

Why aren’t they charging tiered pricing based on required access? The API is already rate limited, they just need to adjust the rates based on the payment. Instead they’ve resold the Firehose via Gnip and DataShift, which they could be selling directly. And the rest of the API they’re resentfully giving away for free.

As a developer of the Twitter API, I don’t want to be resented, I want to be respected as a consumer of their product! Let me pay for access!

I’m talking $19, $99, $299, $999, $9999, “call us” style plans here. They could charge the whole developer market. Instead, they’re putting all their hopes in “Twitter stream advertising.” They have an extremely large potential revenue stream that they’re basically just giving away for free, and they’re giving off a vibe that they’re annoyed by the developers that use it.

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2 Responses to Why isn’t Twitter charging for their API?

  1. dude says:

    unfortunately even if every single developer paid a monthly fee, the cost of those developers’ apps being wielded by users consuming their API would probably not even be dented :(

    that said, I’d pay for basically all of the access to twitter i currently use, but we’re in the minority. average idiot on the street wont pay for twitter, so they’re in a tricky spot

    ps. recaptcha has become nearly impossible!

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