It probably goes without saying, but Elon Musk’s current tenure as Twitter’s CEO has been pretty chaotic, and not in the fun way. Between constantly changing things without any real warning and trying to get money any way possible, the popular social media site feels like it’s about to fall apart at any moment now, and he’s only been CEO for three months. And it’s even more noticeable because the man is desperately looking to find a way to pay back his $44 billion acquisition any way possible.
Hence the new change hitting on February 9, in which Twitter will stop giving free accesss to its Application Program Interface (or API). Instead, researchers, app-makers and the like will have to pay a fee to access what was previously a free, but limited version of that interface. (As of 2022, access to other features was priced at $99 or $1,899 a month, depending on the tier.) For the average Twitter user, this means that third-party apps like Tweetbot may end up forking over cash to continue functioning; some have already said they won’t be paying the fee for their own specific reasons.
This also means that several bots that you often see on the site may end up going away as well. Bots were why Musk was trying to get out of buying Twitter in the first place, but a lot of them are harmless, goofy accounts that don’t have any other purpose beyond being informative or funny. (As a fan of the Unhinged AO3 Tags and Dimension20 Quotes bots, I am giving a tearful salute to them both.) They help make Twitter what it is, and it’ll be sad to see some of them go.
For this week’s io9 Open Channel, we want to know what Twitter bots you’ll be mourning in a post-February 9 world.
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