[TAGS Action Required] Twitter removing free API access breaking TAGS archives with Easy Setup

On 02 February 2023 Twitter announced the end of free access to the Twitter API:

At the time of writing there are no details on pricing. For users with TAGS Archives this will be a breaking change, particularly if you are using the ‘easy setup’ used in TAGS v6.1.

‘Easy Setup’ was introduced in TAGS v6.1 in 2016 allowing people to use TAGS without having to create a Twitter Developer account. Instead TAGS v6.1 ‘easy setup’ uses my Twitter API credentials requiring the user to only sign in with their Twitter account.

Regardless of the pricing I’m not willing to become a Twitter API data reseller. There are various reasons for this, the main one being I’m not willing to take on the liability. TAGS has always been an ‘as is, no warranties’ project and given Twitter may make further changes to its service with little/no notice it’s a headache I’d prefer to avoid.

Warning: TAGS will remain available for anyone who wants to continue using it, but archives created with Easy Setup will stop working after February 9, 2023.

To continue using TAGS after this date you will need to use another Twitter Developer account generating/using your own custom keys. These can be entered using the TAGS > Setup Twitter Access menu option. You should only need to add your custom keys and authenticate once for all TAGS archives associated with your account to continue archiving data.

Previously it was easy to create a Twitter Developer project, but now you need to provide more information about what you want to do which then needs to be approved by Twitter. Given this I fear for many this will be the end of TAGS as a solution, but the project will remain available for anyone willing/able to do the additional setup. Comments are open if you have any questions and you can also ping me on Twitter @mhawksey


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comment 8 comments
  • Alan

    I feared this was the result of Twitter’s Drive for Greed. I am hopeful a small bit they will flip flop this decision which might be a future business school lesson in abysmal strategy. Thanks for all years of collecting TAGs…. anychance of a mastodon version? (had to ask!) Miss you much, Martin.

    • Martin Hawksey

      Hey Alan – in many ways surprised this project lasted as long as it has. Not holding my breathe that there will be enough of a u-turn to get back the easy setup, but in this era of Twitter rule who knows… [er um, no plans for mastodon but I sure it would take much for a clever person like yourself to do the replumbing https://github.com/mhawksey/tags :)]

      • Shay Capehart

        Martin, I’ve been unable to register as a contributor using my google account. It keeps saying, “too many failed login attempts. Try again in 8 hours.” That’s before I even get a chance to select which google account to use. Also, I tried filling out your Contact for and it also returns an error after I submit the form. This happen both on my PC and my iPhone using Chrome on both devices. Any suggestions?

        – Shay
        [email protected]

  • Ewen

    Thank you Martin for not only supplying an easy to implement twitter processing app but seeing some of your queries has driven me to the next level. This has been a wonderful resource for so many years so a huge virtual thank you.

    • Martin Hawksey

      Hi Sam – sadly hard for me to debug, but one thing it might be is the paid twitter access requires using the Twitter API v2 which TAGS doesn’t support. Afraid other than a rewrite not aware of a simple solution

  • Tejas

    I sincerely appreciate all the gratis work you’ve done with TAGS. I don’t blame you for not updating it for Mastodon or another platform – you deserve a long break!

    Has anyone indicated a successful alternative for TAGS? One that is currently operational?

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