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When users set up a brand new WordPress-powered website, they have long been greeted by a default, introductory post simply titled "Hello world!"
But, now it's time for WordPress to say a farewell. Specifically, goodbye to Twitter.
WordPress.com has just become the latest major platform or organization to cut its Twitter integrations due to Elon Musk's brand new high-priced API subscription plans.
Under Musk, Twitter has shut down its free API offerings to developers looking to build Twitter-based apps or integrations. In its place, the company announced exorbitantly-priced paid Enterprise subscription tiers, which start at $42,000 per month, earlier this year.
According to a statement released by WordPress.com's parent company Automattic, the platform is removing Twitter from Jetpack, an official WordPress plugin run by the company. Among its many security and marketing offerings, Jetpack Social provides users with the ability to automatically share content directly to an array of social media platforms from their WordPress sites.
WordPress.com is clear in its statement, titled "The End of Twitter Auto-Sharing," that Twitter's removal from Jetpack is due to the API price hike.
"Twitter decided, on short notice, to dramatically change the terms and pricing of the Twitter API," said Automattic in a statement. "We have attempted to work with Twitter in good faith to negotiate new terms, but we have not been able to reach an agreement. As a result, the Twitter connection on Jetpack Social will cease to work, and your blog posts will no longer be auto-shared to Twitter."
The company is clear that this will only affect Twitter. Automattic states that WordPress users will still be able to utilize Jetpack's social features as they did before with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. In addition, the company stated that its planning on adding Instagram and decentralized Twitter competitor Mastodon to Jetpack Social in the "near future."
In removing Twitter, Automattic joins the ranks of other major companies to drop Twitter in recent weeks. Microsoft, recently removed Twitter from its Microsoft Ads service and Xbox gaming console and Intercom, a popular customer service platform, dropped the Musk-owned platform from its tools as well.
WordPress is the most popular content management system on the internet. Roughly 43 percent of the entire web is powered by WordPress. That's hundreds of millions of websites, blogs, and ecommerce sites.
While WordPress is an open-source platform that can be self-hosted by users at WordPress.org, Automattic owns and operates a hosted version at WordPress.com with free and paid subscription options.
Jetpack is a free security, performance, and marketing plugin provided by WordPress.com's parent company, Automattic. There are also paid subscription plans for premium features.
Jetpack is listed on the official WordPress plugin directory which shows that there are more than 5 million active Jetpack installations on WordPress-based websites. According to the directory, there are less than a dozen plugins with that many active installations. It should also be noted that the "5+ million" active installation label on Jetpack is the highest-numbered labeling WordPress provides in the directory.
Automattic tells Mashable that of those installations, 1.2 million sites have Jetpack Social enabled. When it comes specifically to Twitter, 120,000 active websites shared over 4.3 million blog posts to Twitter each month via Jetpack Social before the API change was implemented.
Twitter's API moves have befuddled developers, both big and small. Many indie developers were forced to shut down their small Twitter-based apps over the past month as Twitter suspended developers from their API platform in preparation for the switch to the paid enterprise plans. Even popular Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific were cut from Twitter's API without notice. Both are now shut down.
Public service accounts have not fared any better. Public transit accounts like the MTA, which runs the New York City subway system, and public safety services, like the National Weather Service, have been affected by Twitter's API changes. Both have announced that they could no longer provide up-to-the-minute alerts on the platform.
UPDATE: May. 2, 2023, 9:25 a.m. EDT This story was updated to clarify the difference between Automattic's hosted version of WordPress at WordPress.com and the self-hosted, open-source version available at WordPress.org. Automattic's stats on how many websites had been specifically using Jetpack Social and it's Twitter integration have also been added.
Topics Social Media Twitter Elon Musk