In a flip-flop, Twitter says it has restored free access to a key tool for verified government and “public” services so they can tweet weather, transit and other alerts after the New York City Transit Agency said earlier this week that she would no longer be using the platform for her service reviews.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is among countless official and unofficial accounts that have abruptly lost access to Twitter’s API, or application programming interface, to send automated alerts about service changes and emergencies during the week. last. On Thursday afternoon, senior executives agreed to stop posting service alerts on the platform altogether.
The decision places the country’s largest transmission network among the increasing number of accountsSince National Public Radio to Elton John, who have reduced their presence on Twitter or left the platform since its takeover by Elon Musk.
Twitter had signaled that the days of private accounts disseminating treasures of information for free might be coming to an end. Last month, the company announced a new pricing system that would charge for access to its API, which is used by accounts that post frequent alerts, such as transit and weather agencies.
MTA officials estimated the cost could be as high as $50,000 per month. For a transit agency facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, paying that much has raised concerns.
So last Thursday, the MTA told its one million Twitter followers that it would no longer use the platform for service alerts and news.
On Tuesday, Twitter backtracked and announced that “verified or public government departments that tweet weather alerts, transportation updates, and emergency notifications can use the API, for these critical purposes, for free.”
In recent days, MTA officials have been in touch with Twitter’s development team, though the agency hasn’t said whether it will return to posting service alerts on Twitter in light of the change.
A representative for the MTA did not immediately respond to a message for comment.