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Say goodbye to Twitter’s free API
Feb 9, 2023
Episode 858

Say goodbye to Twitter’s free API

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Plus, who's watching this year's Puppy Bowl?

In Twitter’s latest effort to up revenue, the company is shutting down free access to its API for many users. That means developers who rely on the Twitter API to run apps like TweetDelete will have to pay for access to its data. Also, Adidas’ decision to split with Yeezy last year is turning out to be an expensive one. And, one man’s career behind the scenes on Broadway is more than just a nice story about a guy doing a job.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. The YouTube livestream starts at 3:30 p.m. PT 6:30 p.m. ET. We’ll have news, drinks, a game and more.

Make Me Smart February 9th 2023 transcript

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

Kai Ryssdal 

I am ready when you are.

Kimberly Adams 

I am ready. I think I’ve got all my things. We are ready.

Kai Ryssdal 

Hey, everybody, I’m Kai Ryssdal. Welcome back to Make Money Smart where we make today make sense.

Kimberly Adams 

And I’m Kimberly Adams, thank you for joining us on this Thursday, which is our news fix and make me smile day. Short and sweet. Let’s get to it. Kai, why don’t you go first?

Kai Ryssdal 

Alright, so mine is it’s not esoteric. It’s just very interesting. I thought it was a little bit of live by the sword die by the sword. We all know the challenges that Kanye West now known as Ye right? Ye, not Yey, Ye.

Kimberly Adams 

We don’t speak of him.

Kai Ryssdal 

Oh okay. In that case, I’ll just go with my pronunciation. We all know the challenges that he has had, with his behaviors, public comments, of horrible nature, shall we just say. Anyway, so Adidas had been in business with him, for years had a whole line of shoes called the Yeezy. It was a ginormous investment for them. They came out today, and said they might write off all of the Yeezy stock that they have todayt. That is to say, all the shoes, all the branded wear, all everything, resulting in and this is a quote from MarketWatch, “a potential operating loss of $749.9 million.” So Kanye West gets really toxic. And a company, a big giant company, that had been in business with him suffers a three quarters of a billion dollar loss. It’s just amazing. It’s wild. Wild, Wild Wild. Yeah.

Kimberly Adams 

This has all been so fascinating, because you know, he’s been making problematic comments for quite some time. And it’s, it’s always fascinating, what tips the scales, you know? So let’s just say some of us left him behind a long time ago.

Kai Ryssdal 

Fair enough. Fair enough. And you we smarter than everybody else out there for sure.

Kimberly Adams 

All right, well, mine is about something else we’re apparently leaving behind. I went to my Tweet Deck today, and it didn’t work. And I sort of heard on the edges of conversation that Musk had decided to basically kill the API for Twitter. And so let me back up a little bit for people who are maybe not that technical. So among the many adventures that Musk is trying to do to get Twitter to make money is he wants to charge for the API and API on any kind of website is basically a back end software that lets other programs and other websites, get into Twitter systems and access Twitter stuff and access your things. So if you’ve ever seen something where it’s like “login with your Twitter account” that uses Twitter API, or if you use something like TweetDeleter, which goes back and automatically deletes old tweets, not that I would know anything about that. That uses API. Or in my case, Tweet Deck, which lets you have all those nice little columns and follow different accounts and have your lists all in one place, uses an API. So Musk announced with very short notice that he was going to basically no longer allow developers to use the Twitter API for free. And it certainly has happened. And there have been reports that he’s going to charge $100 a month, but we haven’t seen too many details about that. And so a… Engadget has this nice story about what you should have done before this change happened had you been paying attention better than me. Like changing your logins for sites that you use Twitter to log in because now how you going to log in? Or you know if you… One of the things and that what may be behind this move when you set up your Mastodon account if you’re trying to sort of see who, that… who among your following and followers is already on Mastodon, there are apps you can use or websites you can go to that will use Twitter’s API and log into your Twitter account, skim all of your followers to see who’s got a Mastodon handle in their Twitter bio and automatically follow those people for you, which is how I followed a bunch of people on Mastodon when I finally got my stuff together. Now, those probably aren’t going to work. So it’s been interesting. And it will be fascinating. Because now that this has happened, there are a lot of companies that are going to have to decide if they want to pay to keep using Twitter and pay into Musk’s thing, because so much of Twitter has been free, except for you know, your advertising eyeballs. But, you know, like if you have to pay to atom, to do your, like automatic tweets, right? Because right now, companies were using things that relied on Twitter’s API, to sort of scheduled tweets and post automatic tweets, because Twitter’s website isn’t exactly great for that. So now, are you going to pay for that service? Are you going to pay more for that service? Will be interesting.

Kai Ryssdal 

I don’t think people are gonna pay for it. That’s just me. That’s just me.

Kimberly Adams 

We will see

Kai Ryssdal 

We will see.

Kimberly Adams 

Do you use TweetDeck? Or anything like that?

Kai Ryssdal 

Yeah. So I used, I used tweet bot until they shut down the API for all those third party people so that they could force us onto the app and sell advertising again to us all that stuff. And honestly, since he’s done that, I just use the service way, way less. And look, I’m not a power user. Yes, I’ve got a big following, because whatever, but my engagement and my usage is way down. Way, way down.

Kimberly Adams 

Same. I am pretty much just like, tweeting about my stories or my colleagues’ stories, or responding to people who DM me, but you know, I’m not using it that much anymore. It’s…. Except for the, you know, going through my DMs to delete all the many, many, many, many more crypto scams I’m getting in my messages, which is well.

Kai Ryssdal 

It’s probably healthy to use that things less anyway, Jay do it. Jay wasn’t waiting.

Kimberly Adams 

He’s like “I got stuff to do, places to go people see.”

Kai Ryssdal 

Alright, so there is an article in the Wall Street Journal today that on the face of it is charming, and a nice story about an old guy who’s been doing a job for a very long time. But really, if you read it, it’s about service, and commitment, and professionalism and dedication to a craft. It’s a story about the chief electrician for Phantom of the Opera, which closes this year after a stupendously long run. It’s gonna go 13,981 runs, it’s like 35 years. And the guy who is the Chief, now the chief electrician for that show, his name is Alan Lampel, or Lam-PEL, if you’re listening to this sir I apologize for mispronouncing your name. So of the almost 14,000 performances, this show will have done, this guy has been there for 13,000 of them. He’s been in the, quoting now from the piece. “He’s done the same job, in the same place, for the same production, from the very beginning of its existence.” And it goes through how he does his job, but also why, why he stays there, how he thinks about it. It’s really really interesting. It’s a nice story about a guy doing a job but it’s really about more than that and I highly recommend it. We’ll put it on the show page.

Kimberly Adams 

You know, in an era of job hopping, and like this kind of stuff is amazing. So is he gonna retire when the show retires?

Kai Ryssdal 

Yes, he’s he and his wife are planning a cruise

Kimberly Adams 

(Strained) Okay…

Kai Ryssdal 

Yeah, well, yeah. Oh, I forgot your yes. I forgot Kimberly Adams and cruises. Yes. Yes. One imagines it will be a different experience than yours, but who knows.

Kimberly Adams 

I hope they have a great time. I really do. I really do. Guy deserve it’s a nice time, and I really hope nothing bad happens.

Kai Ryssdal 

I totally forgot. Oh my lord.

Kimberly Adams 

Okay. Well, mine is just puppies. Just puppies. So Discovery Channel has posted online the lineup for puppy bowl 2023 I’m sorry, Puppy Bowl 40. What is that? 49?51? 49. Yes. I’m trying to read Roman numerals here, for the Super Bowl, and it tells you how much I pay attention to the Super Bowl. But anyway, they have posted the lineup for the puppy bowl. There are indeed many many cute puppies. I’m clicking through right now and I’m just loving them all, and just they’re all very good boys and girls. Like that’s it. They’re cute puppies. And I if I watch, I’ll be watching Rihanna’s halftime show and the puppy bowl. That’ll that’ll be my activities

Kai Ryssdal 

Not a bad Sunday afternoon. Not a bad Sunday afternoon.

Kimberly Adams 

Indeed.

Kai Ryssdal 

All right. We’re out of here on what is today, Thursday afternoon tomorrow. Back with economics on tap. 6:30 Eastern, 3:30 Pacific. There’ll be some drinks, some news, we’ll play a round of half full/half empty. All y’all know the drill.

Kimberly Adams 

Yes. And as always, we love hearing from you even if it’s not via the API on Twitter. You can send us your thoughts, questions or suggestions were at 508-U-B-SMART and also at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Kai Ryssdal 

Make me smart is produced by Courtney Bergsieker. Today’s episode was engineered by Jay Siebold on the other side of the glass. Our intern is Antonio Barreras.

Kimberly Adams 

Ellen Rolfes writes our newsletter. Marissa Cabrera is our acting senior producer. Bridget Bodnar is the director of podcasts. And Francesca Levy is the executive director of Digital.  Oh my gosh, I forgot to do the kitty halftime show that’s gonna come up as well.

Kai Ryssdal 

There’s a kitty halftime show?

Kimberly Adams 

There was last year

Kai Ryssdal 

That’s just not as cute. I’m sorry. Look, I grew up a cat person. I’m a dog person now. I grew up a cat person but a kitty show is not as cute as a doggie show. I’m sorry. It’s not. It’s not it’s not. All y’all if we leave this in and it goes out on the podcast, I want you all to write me, you dog person or cat person? Which are better? Kitty bowls or puppy bowls?

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