After New York City’s transit agency announced earlier this week that it would stop using the platform for its service advisories, Twitter says it has reversed course and reinstated free access to a critical tool for verified government and “publicly owned” services so they can tweet weather, transit, and other alerts.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was one of many official and unofficial accounts that abruptly lost access to Twitter’s API, or application programming interface, last week, preventing them from automatically notifying users of service changes and crises.
Senior management stopped publishing service alerts on the site by Thursday afternoon.
Following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, many accounts, including National Public Radio and Elton John, have reduced or abandoned their Twitter presence. This decision included the nation’s largest transportation network.
Twitter had hinted that the free dissemination of vast amounts of information by individual accounts might end. Last month, the business revealed a new pricing structure that would charge for accounts that frequently publish warnings, such as transit and meteorological organizations, to access its API.
According to MTA officials, the monthly cost might reach $50,000. Paying that much prompted questions for a transit organization that had a multibillion-dollar deficit.
Last Thursday, the MTA informed its 1 million Twitter followers that it would no longer use the social media network for service alerts and information.
After first retracting its statement, Twitter said on Tuesday: “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.”
MTA representatives have contacted Twitter’s development team recently, but the organization has not said if it will resume issuing service warnings on Twitter in light of the modification.
An MTA representative did not immediately answer an inquiry for comment.