Twitter's free API is gone and apps are breaking as a result

Elon Musk and the Twitter logo
(Image credit: Future)

After saying it would do it, then delaying it, Twitter seems to have finally called time on its free API and broken some apps in the process.

Twitter had originally said that it would kill off its free API in February but it later delayed the move without telling anyone when it planned to flick the switch.

It seems that the day has now come, with a number of developers reporting that the API is no longer working.

A bug or a feature?

The real question is whether this is a planned take-down of the API or if something is broken. Twitter has suffered plenty of outages and strange goings-on since Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout towards the end of 2022. And with Twitter's developer relations team decimated it's proving difficult for those who used the API to confirm what's happening.

Engadget reports that some developers have at least received an email saying that they have "been suspended from accessing the Twitter API."

There are plenty of apps and services that appear to have been impacted as a result of the API situation. Engadget reports that embedded tweets are proving problematic for newsletter outfit Substack, while even companies willing to pay for API access are having issues.

Mashable notes that Echobox developers reached out to Twitter about paying for API access but have not received any response. “We still have had no response from Twitter’s enterprise sales team and our access to the API was cut off without notice yesterday,” Echobox said in a blog post.

This isn't the first time that the API situation has been problematic for Twitter and the companies that rely on it, of course. Twitter famously stopped third-party apps from hooking into its API and replacing its core functionality, killing Tweetbot, Aviary, and countless other apps and businesses in the process. Now, whether you're using a years-old iPhone SE or picked up the best iPhone Apple makes, you'll have to use the official app to get your Twitter fix.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.