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Twitter overhauls developer platform with expanded data access

The social media platform hopes to see more tools and features available to users to control and curate content

Twitter will expand free access to its data for software developers so they can create tools and products that promote safer online conversations or curate content. 

The move is part of the social media site's efforts to decentralise its operation and put more control into the hands of its users.

Social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook have come under increasing scrutiny for apparent behavioural modification practices. Regulators and authorities are concerned with the types of algorithms they use, which are thought to prioritise negative content to keep users engaged. This is often attributed to hate speech and the spread of misinformation.

Twitter's answer is to offer more control to the users themselves, letting them curate what content they see or have new ways of sharing content on the platform.

Starting Monday, developers will be able to access data on up to two million tweets per month through Twitter's application programming interface (API) at no cost. 

Developers already using the Twitter API v2 will automatically see their projects upgraded to 'Elevated' access. Or they will need to apply for Elevated access. 

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The social media site said it is working on a way to enable developers whose previous applications for a developer account have been declined and said it will share a path soon to enable sign up for Essential or re-application for Elevated access.

Some early examples of apps built with Twitter data include software engineer Tracy Chou's Block Party, which allows users to filter out content they don't want to see. Another app, which was built by software engineer Janique-ka John, lets users easily search for Twitter Spaces, which is the company's live audio chat feature. 

"We want to continue to drive value for the developer ecosystem and make it easier for you to build, innovate, and make an impact on the public conversation," the company said in a blog post.  

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