Twitter's Mid-Range API Tier Marks Its Debut

Twitter today made the Search Tweets API, the first of several new premium APIs, available to developers as a public beta. The move shows Twitter is following through on its commitment from earlier this year to help developers scale their projects from low-level to enterprise-class endeavors. The Search Tweets API lets developers tap into the past 30 days of Twitter activity. Twitter says the API will eventually be expanded to reach all the way back to the beginning of time, as told in tweets. That will give developers with access to historical data generated by Twitter users starting in 2006.

Twitter has three API tiers under development. Standard, or free APIs, sit at the bottom and are meant to provide basic access to the platform. Premium APIs pack more punch and carry free-to-modest monthly subsription costs. Last, enterprise-class APIs deliver powerful functionality, but carry higher service costs. Today's release falls in the middle segment of these three, and offers more access to Twitter data than what's available for standard/free tier.

For example, developers who subscribe to the premiumn APIs can target a broader range of tweets, set searches for higher tweet limits, and perform multi-part queries that might include meta-data, full URLs, and even profile or location data. Twitter will follow the Search Tweets API with more APIs that deliver more power to developers during the cokming weeks and months. 

Developers will be able to access and manage their projects through a new self-serve portal, too, says Twitter. The portal is meant to provide transparent access to how developers are using the APIs and the associated data. Those who need API access can then analyze and prepare for their future needs, such as upgrading to the next API tier. The Search Tweets API, for example, ranges from just $149 per month to $2,249 per month. Tapping into personalized monthly usage data will help developers find the right spot on this scale. Twitter says more premium features will be added to the portal, such as managing subscriptions and payments directly. 

These changes were put into motion back in April, when Twitter announced plans to unify its API platform. The entire goal of the project is to help developers build apps that can scale as needed with the social network. Developers can pat themselves on the back a bit for this one. Requests from the developer community provided Twitter with the impetus needed to push this evolution into action. The company first opened its Direct Message API so developers could gain access to the power of account-to-account messaging. This has become a vital tool for companies seeking to put out customer service and other fires.

Twitter did not specify which APIs might be released next. 
 

Eric Zeman I am a journalist who covers the mobile telecommunications industry. I freelance for ProgrammableWeb and other online properties.
 

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