Twitter announced they will allow automated weather alerts being Tweeted by government agencies on their platform to be shared freely without any limitations or cost. Today’s announcement clarifies earlier conflicting announcements as to whether or not agencies, such as the National Weather Service, would be restricted to the number of automated Tweets they used.
Back on February 1, Twitter announced, “we will no longer support free access to the Twitter API, both v2 and v1.1. A basic paid tier will be available instead.” They added, “Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent over a trillion Tweets, with billions more every week. ”
In March, Twitter unveiled three levels of Enterprise Packages to its developer platform. The least expensive “Small Package” gives access to 50 million Tweets for $42,000/month while the higher levels exceed $200,000/month. Twitter also created a free tier but it only allowed 1,500/Tweets month, far too few for a weather service office that may issue thousands of updates, forecasts, and watch/warning alerts over that period.
Later in April, several National Weather Service offices warned their Twitter followers that that may not be able to share automated Tweets without investing into the API packages. On April 7, offices like the San Diego National Weather Service office Tweeted, “Twitter announced 3/29/23 that it will begin limiting automated tweets. Should this implementation occur, the automated watch/warning/advisory graphics shared on this account may not be posted. Have multiple ways to receive weather information and alerts.”
Today, Twitter announced, “One of the most important use cases for the Twitter API has always been public utility. Verified gov or publicly owned services who tweet weather alerts, transport updates, and emergency notifications may use the API, for these critical purposes, for free.”