Developer terms

Commercial and non-commercial use of the Twitter API

By using the Twitter developer platform, you have reviewed and agreed to our Developer Agreement and Policy. Our Developer Agreement includes commercial use terms that govern how the Twitter API can be used on the Academic Research product track.

Introduction

The Twitter API serves a broad spectrum of developers who are building, analyzing, and creating with this public data. To give developers and researchers the best solutions to meet their unique goals, we are building the new API with distinct product tracks that support non-commercial use, starting with academic research.  

The Academic Research product track includes full-archive search, as well as increased access and other v2 endpoints and functionality designed to get more precise and complete data for analyzing the public conversation, at no cost for qualifying researchers. Since the Academic Research track includes specialized, greater levels of access, it is reserved solely for non-commercial use.

Learn about Early Access to the new Twitter API
 

Using the Twitter API on the Academic Research product track

To qualify for this product track, you must be affiliated with or employed by an academic institution as an academic researcher, post-doc, professor, fellow, or other faculty; a graduate student working on a thesis, or a PhD candidate working on their dissertation. You must also have a clearly defined non-commercial research objective. 

Learn about Project details you should share in your Academic Research application

Reserving this track for only non-commercial use makes it possible for us to provide long-term support for the needs of researchers who rely on the Twitter API to do their work.

Final decisions about whether your use of the API is considered commercial or non-commercial will be at Twitter’s discretion, based on the answers provided in your application for Academic Research access. The information and examples shared here are intended for guidance only.

Learn more about our solution for Academic Research
 

What we mean by “non-commercial use”

Your use of the Twitter API will be considered non-commercial as long as you are not using your Twitter API access as a business, or as part of a product or service that’s used to make money. In addition to the above requirements to be eligible for the Academic Research product track, this product track may only be used for non-commercial purposes.

While not an exhaustive list, some examples of allowed, non-commercial use for the Academic Research product track include:

  • Research conducted as a professor, faculty, or postgraduate to advance scholarship on behalf of your academic institution
  • Research conducted for scholarly purposes, including work that may be published in academic and scientific journal(s), or work to be published in press and news
  • Research work intended to advance knowledge in your discipline
  • Research or analysis you wish to self-publish for open access or free distribution

While commercial research is still welcomed on the platform, this is presently supported through the Standard product track on the v1.1 Twitter API. 

See what's possible with Twitter data for research
 

What we mean by “commercial use”

Your use of the Twitter API will be considered commercial if you’re a business, using it on behalf of a business, or as part of a product or service that you’re monetizing. Know that if you are using the API for commercial purposes, this does not necessarily mean that you are required to pay for access (for example, Basic access on any of our product tracks will be available for free).

  • You’re a business if you’re an entity whose primary purpose is to earn money through a product or service. This also includes any work you do with the Twitter API on behalf of other businesses (for example, if you are employed by a business).
     

  • Your product or service is monetized if you earn money from it. While not an exhaustive list, some examples of how products or services earn money include:

  • Fees in exchange for your service, product, or research
  • Freemium features available for upsell
  • An app that has in-app promotions, sponsorships or advertising
  • Work with Twitter data is published on a site that monetizes with ads on site
  • Research work intended to be open-source and advance knowledge in your discipline

Some other examples of commercial research include:

  • Paid research work for a business, such as market research or consultant
  • Providing research findings or data visualizations based on this data for a fee
  • Licensing IP to businesses
  • While commercial research is still welcomed on the platform, this is presently supported through Standard Basic access or the v1.1 Twitter API. 

All developers can still apply for Early Access to the new Twitter API through the Standard product track — the ideal place to explore, learn, play, and build with v2 endpoints. 

See commercial use success stories
 

Picking the right product track for your needs

How you plan to use the Twitter API will determine which product track is best suited to meet your goals. Both the Standard and Academic Research product tracks include a free, Basic level of access.

ACADEMIC RESEARCH PRODUCT TRACK

STANDARD PRODUCT TRACK

ACADEMIC RESEARCH PRODUCT TRACK

  • Non-commercial use case required
  • Designed for scholarly research
  • Reserved for researchers associated with an academic institution

STANDARD PRODUCT TRACK

  • Commercial and non-commercial use of the API accepted
  • Best for developers who want to understand the public conversation or build something awesome; or for developers who know they’ll need elevated access in the future, but want to get started with the Twitter API v2 now
  • Available to all approved developers across a broad range of use cases like to engage, teach, learn, play, or create


Using the Projects feature to manage your work

Projects in the developer portal are a way to organize your work and manage access to the API. The information you include in your developer application and use case will determine your eligibility and approval for a product track. Depending on the product track you are approved for, your Project will be designated as “commercial” or “non-commercial.” 

If you are approved to use the Academic Research product track, the information provided in your application will be displayed in your Project. Your Project reflects your approved use case for research with Twitter data, and it cannot be changed without express approval from Twitter. To access v2 endpoints, you will need to connect a new or existing developer app to your Project.

At this time, you are allowed one Project per product track (Academic Research and/or Standard), where each Project is used for a unique use case. The developer app you connect with that Project should also be for that same use case. It’s important that your developer app adheres to your Project’s designation so you stay compliant with the terms of the Developer Agreement and Developer Policy.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you require non-commercial use on the Academic Research product track?

Twitter believes in the value and impact of the academic research community on the world. To support researchers and enable the public good that comes from their work, we’re providing specialized products like full-archive search, increased access, and free or discounted pricing (where applicable). 

Reserving this track for only non-commercial use makes it possible for us to continue serving  business customers, while still supporting the public good that comes from research using public Twitter data.

If I’m using the Academic Research track, but I want my idea to become a business, can I use this track? 

If you’ve been approved to use the Academic Research product track, your access to this track should be used exclusively for non-commercial purposes. Once you want to create a monetized service or product with your access to the Twitter API, you will need to apply with a new use case to use the Standard product track or continue using v1.1 endpoints. In the coming months, we will introduce a Business product track with endpoints and features that best support business needs.

If I don’t fit all of the qualification criteria for the Academic Research product track, what can I use instead?

Anyone who wants to build with the Twitter API can apply to use the Standard product track. We will continue to introduce new endpoints, features, and v1 endpoint replacements into the Standard product track.

Are grants, funding, and donations to complete research considered to be a form of monetization? 

Grants and funding that you receive to conduct your research is not considered to be a form of monetization. Donations that your users or readers opt to give as a show of appreciation are generally not considered to be a form of monetization. 

How can I share feedback I have about commercial use and non-commercial use?

Your feedback is important and helps shape how we build in the future. If you have suggestions specific to commercial and non-commercial use of the Twitter API, let us know here.