A recently-announced Twitter API change could affect some bloggers who use apps to auto-publish links to their sites on the platform.
If you rely on apps to automatically post a new tweet on the Twitter platform when you publish a new post, check to make sure they still work. In some cases, they may no longer do so, thanks to a Twitter API change.
Elon Musk announced the change last week and that it was supposed to take effect on Feb. 9. API stands for application programming interface. It’s essentially the engine that allows an app to interact with a platform. If your blog uses an app to automatically post links to new posts, for example, to platforms like Twitter and Facebook, each app has an API to that respective platform. Simple, right?
Here’s what’s changing
Twitter is eliminating access to its free API. Starting now (presumably, the change already took effect), those apps will have to pay a premium monthly fee to get access. What’s a premium monthly fee? Musk himself claimed it would be “about $100 per month.”
If your blog rakes in five digits per month, more power to you. For the rest of us, $100 per month wouldn’t be an option under any circumstances.
Bigger social media scheduling platforms like CoSchedule are not likely to be affected since they already pay for full API access to Twitter. The same goes for Buffer, which is what I use to schedule posts to Twitter and several other social media platforms.
The reason for the change seems to be two-fold. Musk himself claims it’s because there are too many bots posting too much garbage on the platform.
Some would argue it’s simply a money-grab, pure and simple. Twitter is trying to raise as much money as possible as Musk looks to recoup the price he paid for the platform.
It might even be a little of both.
So what if the plugin you rely on stops working?
The good news is that some of the apps out there did not break because of the change. Aside from Buffer and CoSchedule, Sprout Social is another example of a major app that did not stop working. To be fair, however, you pay a premium price for a service like Sprout Social, so it might not be for you.
If you find the plugin you’ve been using is dead, the site Web Training Wheels has some alternatives that might work instead.
The other alternative would be to post natively, but if you’re trying to manage multiple social platforms, that’s not always a valid option. When you want to have a presence at all hours — or at least spread out over the day — posting natively every time isn’t practical unless you have no other obligations.
But this does serve as an important reminder: given the volatility of Twitter lately, bloggers need to make sure they’re not putting all of their marketing plans in one basket. Use more than one platform to promote your blog. At any given moment, one you’ve used in the past could go down. What’s your backup plan if it does?