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Twitter unveils upgraded API and new portal for developers

Twitter announced its first significant API (application programming interface) update in eight years on Thursday with new features to help third-party developers and broader access to all types of developers.

The Twitter API v2 Early Access that is now available includes access to features developers have been requesting, such as conversation threading, poll results, pinned Tweets on profiles, spam filtering, and more.

The new API allows multiple access levels to accommodate all types of developers, whether they are students, businesses, bot developers, or academic researchers.

Twitter logo
NurPhoto / Getty Images

Twitter said it is especially interested in better-accommodating researchers in the future with free, elected access for qualified researchers since they make up a sizable percentage of the developer ecosystem. Twitter API v2 will enable more academic research into understanding people’s attitudes about the coronavirus, climate change, and hate speech.

There’s also a new developer portal that makes it easier for developers to access their apps and better understand the data access they have.

For ordinary Twitter users, Twitter API v2 will help improve the platform’s functionality since developers have more access to more features. Ian Cairns, Twitter’s head of product, said API lets developers go beyond what Twitter provides directly.

“Part of our hope is that developers can build tools that help scale [hate speech] behavior, like building an algorithm to hide [hateful] replies automatically,” Cairns said during a press briefing.

In the past, developers used Twitter’s API to develop the first mobile Twitter app, help spot state-backed misinformation campaigns, and even helped coined the word “tweet. With more developer access, individual Twitter users can expect more updates and new features to the platform soon.

Twitter launched public API in 2006 to invite developers to help build the future of the platform. Twitter’s last API update was in 2018, where it introduced a vetting process for those who want to access the API. That update required interested developers to register on Twitter’s developer portal and provide more details and information about their plans for the API.

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Allison Matyus
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Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
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