João Freitas

The following is a retrospective on the current change to a payed only API by giant platforms like Twitter and Reddit. The author explains that this trend is most likely due to greediness of these platforms to profit from people using API data to train Large Language Models.

$42,000 for 50 million tweets. $12,000 for 50 million Reddit posts. Is this the end of public APIs?

Twitter’s public API was launched only a few months after the product was released in 2006 to combat third-party developers scraping and offering unofficial APIs. The API enabled reasonably broad access to Twitter for any developer. As a result, third-party applications flourished (like TweetDeck, Tweetbot, and Twitterriffic).

But over time, the API became more closed off. They limited the number of connected users for third-party applications that looked like Twitter. Rate limits became harsher. Eventually, they killed off third-party applications altogether.

Later, they reintroduced the API but with a new price tag. Other companies like Reddit are following suit.


Is this the end of public APIs? Not necessarily. While Reddit and Twitter wall off their APIs, other companies will embrace openness. Some will emerge with different business models or data models made better by public APIs.

#reads #matt rickard #twitter #reddit #api #business #ai #llm