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Twitter expands API with support for posting and deleting tweets, Super Follows and more

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Twitter has been steadily updating its rebuilt API following its mid-2020 relaunch. Most recently, the company added support for Twitter Spaces to its developer platform. Today, it’s announcing support that will enable developers to build better Twitter bots by launching new endpoints that allow you to tweet, delete tweets, post polls, use Reply settings, and tag people in images. It also now supports Super Follows functionality, so developers can build out solutions to support creators, the company says.

While bots that post spam are unwanted, Twitter has made it clear that it sees other bots as being helpful. The company in September introduced a new label that would allow what it calls the “good bots” to properly identify themselves on the platform, for example.

At the time, it cited examples of good bots including the public service account @earthquakesSF; a bot offering COVID-19 updates called @vax_progress; a bot that offers an ongoing breakdown of the last 100 bills introduced in Congress, @last100bills; an accessibility-focused bot, @AltTxtReminder; and others that just add value in their own way, like @met_drawings, which shares public domain works from The Met’s Drawings & Prints department, or the goofy @EmojiMashupBot, among others.

Today, Twitter again touts the @vaxprogress bot and its developer, Brian Moore, who’s also behind bots like @NYTIMESALLCAPS and @chernobylstatus, and who will become an early adopter of the new Twitter API v2 features, he says.

While things like polls and image tagging will make tweets more interactive, Twitter’s new “manage tweets” endpoints will allow for more basic functionality — like posting tweets or deleting tweets for an authenticated account. This could enable more Twitter cleanup solutions, perhaps, like those that remove old tweets on behalf of their users, or solutions that post automatic updates, like the above bots, for instance.

In addition to supporting features that will allow developers to post tweets and do more, in terms of how those tweets operate or what they include, the company is also expanding the new API to support its creator platform, Super Follows.

Launched publicly in September, Super Follows allow users to support their favorite creators on the platform by subscribing to their exclusive content, like member-only tweets and newsletters, for instance. Fans may also gain access to private communities, deals, and discounts, or other membership perks, and receive a supporter badge, depending on how the creator sets up their Super Follow membership program.

With the API changes, Twitter is adding the ability to share tweets to Super Followers via the API, which would allow developers to build out solutions that help creators make money from their Twitter fan base. While today, Super Follows is still limited to only a select number of creators, the audience for this functionality isn’t yet large. But Twitter has its eye on the future here, thinking about how third-party apps aimed at creators may need to build in support for sharing content to a wide variety of platforms — Twitter among them.

Combined the updates allow developers to build platforms where users are able to take advantage of Twitter-native features directly — like conversation controls, polls, Super Follows, and other features — much of which hasn’t been possible before. That could lead to improved third-party Twitter clients, as well.

Twitter said much of this new functionality was prioritized for the new API release based on community feedback, and the company asked for the feedback to continue so it can help plan what to build next.

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