Microsoft’s refusal to pay for Twitter’s API has outraged Elon Musk

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Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are becoming the new gold in tech. Like Reddit, Twitter CEO Elon Musk wants companies using the social platform’s data to pay for it.

Microsoft, however, isn’t interested. The tech giant announced plans to remove Twitter from its advertising platform next week instead of paying to retain access to API, an acronym for Application Programming Interface. APIs allow two or more technologies or software applications to connect and communicate with one another. They are specially deployed for system integrations and interoperability.

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“Starting on Apr. 25, 2023, Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform will no longer support Twitter,” Microsoft said on its site. That also means by that date, users will lose access to their Twitter accounts via its Digital Marketing Center’s social media management tool. They will be unable to create and manage drafts or tweets, view past tweets and engagement, and schedule tweets. “Other social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn will continue to be available.”

Musk was angered by the move, claiming in a tweet on Apr. 19 that the software manufacturer, a major backer of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, used Twitter’s data to train AI models without consent. Musk then threatened legal action.

Microsoft raked in over $12 billion in digital advertising revenue last year from ads created and managed through its advertising platform.

Last month, Musk set Twitter’s API monthly access price at $42,000 for access to 50 million tweets, $125,000 for 100 million tweets, and $210,000 for the highest plan with 200 million tweets. Twitter discontinued free access to APIs by third-parties and developer plugins in February, forcing some developers to suspend their Twitter integration projects.

It remains to be seen how Musk’s feud with Microsoft pans out, even as he goes ahead with plans to launch a new language model he calls TruthGPT to give ChatGPT a run for its money.

This is not the first feud involving Musk and a tech giant. In November, Musk said Apple had mostly stopped advertising on Twitter and that is was considering removing the app from its app store, questioning the Cupertino company’s commitment to free speech. Musk apparently met with Tim Cook a few days after the outburst, and resolved the “misunderstanding.”

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