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Twitter Outage Uncovers More Details on Upcoming API Access Changes, Giving the Fediverse a Shot in the Arm

Twitter experienced a major outage today lasting several hours, which left most users unable to tweet or send private messages to each other. Some reported receiving error messages telling them they were “over the daily limit for sending tweets.”

Twitter’s development team took the opportunity to update users on the upcoming changes to API access, which it appears the team was working on before CEO Elon Musk advised them to pause “in favor of maximizing system stability and robustness, especially with the Super Bowl coming up.”

The Twitter Dev account announced that after February 13, free access users will be limited to 1,500 tweets per month:

We have been busy with some updates to the Twitter API so you can continue to build and innovate with us. We’re excited to announce an extension of the current free Twitter API access through February 13. Here’s what we’re shipping then:

Paid basic access that offers low level of API usage, and access to Ads API for a $100 monthly fee.

A new form of free access will be introduced as this is extremely important to our ecosystem – limited to Tweet creation of up to 1,500 Tweets per month for a single authenticated user token, including Login with Twitter.

Also on February 13, we will deprecate the Premium API. If you’re subscribed to Premium, you can apply for Enterprise to continue using these endpoints.

This is a new chapter for the Twitter API to increase quality, reduce spam, and enable a thriving ecosystem. We appreciate your patience as we implement these changes and we can’t wait to see what you build next! Stay tuned for more information on continued Twitter API access.

With no more third-party clients, Twitter has severely diminished its resilience during outages like these. Many users were driven to platforms like Mastodon to speculate about the reasons for Twitter breaking. Cloudflare also found some lucky timing today in launching Wildebeest, an AcitivityPub and Mastodon-compatible server that enables anyone to operate their Fediverse server and identity on their domain with minimal setup and without needing to keep up the infrastructure.

For those who are looking to get started on Mastodon as the result of Twitter’s recent outage, WordPress developer Daniel Auener curates and maintains a list of WordPress community members’ Mastodon accounts that anyone can follow by downloading a CSV file and importing it into Mastodon.

The list includes all accounts, where the account owner has at least one community badge on their profile page. Auener has also published a WordPress guide to the Fediverse with helpful information on finding an instance, following hashtags, and engaging with the WordPress community.