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Twitter announced this week that it would be making its Application Programming Interface (API) data free for qualified accounts that post “public announcements.”

The accounts for government or publicly-owned services can now publish real-time automated updates on emergency services, weather and traffic, among other things, Twitter said Tuesday.

Twitter‘s API had been used by third parties to create apps that allowed for automatic posting. It was also used by large companies through their advertising teams to publish on Twitter easily.

Twitter announced in February that, staring in April, users would have to pay for access to API, which sparked a backlash from scores of different communities.

Small creators who used the data to create sister apps for Twitter had to either shut down their services or start charging their users. Governmental agencies, which have used the data to track misinformation on the platform, also criticized the decision.

Paying for access to Twitter API was deemed too expensive for many.

Automated announcement accounts, like the National Weather Service and New York’s Metro Transit Service, said that their ability to publish automated tweets was severely hurt by the decision.

While verified publicly-funded accounts now will have free access to Twitter API, the future of non-governmental disaster-response accounts remains uncertain.

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