After Twitter announced that it was shutting down its free access to APIs from February 9, Elon Musk tweeted just days before the deadline that the micro-blogging site will provide a write-only API for “bots providing good content that is free".
According to Musk, the announcement was made after getting feedback from developers.
The decision, however, leaves the question as to what constitutes 'good content', and who will decide that.
Tech Crunch reports, that the rule if implemented, might give some bots a new lifeline on the social platform.
Twitter had previously shut down API access to third-party apps with the excuse that they had broken a “long-standing rule” without any specification.
The company also updated its developer terms so that the app can't “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.”
Developers were enraged and criticised the company for its decision, especially since their automation provided free content to people and in turn enhanced the services.
Tech Crunch reported that according to Darius Kazemi, a developer who has made over 80 bots and organised bot devs summit in 2016, the bots were enjoyed by people daily and were an integral part of Twitter.
Maintaining the bots at a fee while providing free content might be difficult for many.
Twitter's free API discontinuation will affect not only developers but students, researchers and academics as well, as they all might not be able to afford to pay a fee for the content they need.