The best way for third-party developers to use Twitter’s data is through the microblogging site’s APIs. Previously, they’ve had a choice between the standard free API, and the enterprise-oriented Gnip service. The two products differed significantly not just in cost, but also in the type of queries that could be performed, and there was no middle ground.
Today, the company is rolling out premium APIs, which should bridge the gap. The first of these is the Search Tweets API, which offers an easy avenue to the past 30 days of Twitter data.
The company eventually plans to offer a more historic-oriented API, which will let developers look at every tweet ever posted: even those that date back to when the company was called “Twttr.” Unfortunately, it hasn’t said when this will be released.
Overall though, the new premium APIs are way more powerful. Queries will return more tweets per request, and developers will be able to make more requests, as overall limits are raised. They’ll also support more complex queries, enhanced metadata results, and a counts endpoint that returns time-series counts of Tweets.
Pricing for the new premium APIs starts at $149 per month, and is available now in a public beta. The company is also offering a free, limited sandbox, where developers can play around with the API without having to stump up their credit card details.
Finally, Twitter is launching a new dashboard to allow developers to keep track of their usage. Data isn’t real-time, but rather is updated within an interval of one minute, giving developers a good-enough overview of how many API requests they’ve got left. You can check what this looks like in the featured image above.
Personally, I’m excited. A new middle-ground API means that developers will be able to use Twitter’s data in more elaborate and adventurous ways, resulting in some really interesting products. Indeed, this sort of thing has been on developer wish-lists for some time now.
And I’m sure Twitter will be excited about the new revenue stream, too, as developers crack open their wallets for this new tool.