The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) immediately suspended Twitter updates for customers due to a reported high price and unreliable network.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk, following his $44 billion acquisition of the company in October 2022, announced an $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription service that he said would greatly minimize the impact of bots. in the social network.
The service finally went live on April 20, removing the infamous blue checkmarks from countless “legacy” accounts previously connected to “notable” figures “in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.”
Twitter has asked the MTA to pay $50,000 a month to continue accessing the platform’s application programming interface, or API, according to Bloomberg. The agency also claimed that Twitter never presented it with a timeline of when older accounts would lose access.
“The MTA does not pay for technology platforms to post service information and has built redundant tools that provide real-time service alerts,” Shanifah Rieara, the MTA’s acting chief customer officer, said in a statement. statement posted Thursday on his website. “These include the MYmta and TrainTime apps, the MTA home page at MTA.info, email and text message alerts.
“Service alerts are also available on thousands of screens in stations, trains and buses. The MTA has stopped posting service information on Twitter, effective immediately, as the reliability of the platform can no longer be guaranteed.”
Rieara told Bloomberg that he doesn’t think paying to post service-related updates via Twitter is “the best use of resources” when other “internal and local” resources already exist that are, in his words, more reliable.
“We want to communicate with our customers across all platforms, but we need a platform that is reliable, consistent and up-to-date,” he added.
The MTA’s access to Twitter through its API was “unintentionally interrupted twice” in the last two weeks, on April 14 and April 27, Rieara said accompanying her statement.
The current @MTA account, which now has a yellow check mark and is followed by 1.3 million users, and related accounts like @nyct_subway, will remain active for branding and answering any customer related questions or queries .
The MTA has a budget deficit of $600 million this year that is expected to grow to about $3 billion by 2025, Bloomberg reported.
When contacted by news week Via email, Rieara reiterated the same statement that was published on Thursday.
Air France has taken similar measures.
“Since Twitter has changed its terms, our direct message customer service on this network is unavailable,” the airline tweeted on Friday. “Our service teams are still available on our other channels. We thank you for your understanding.”
An Air France spokesman said news week via email that, like the MTA complaints, the API was a problem.
“Twitter’s recent change in access to its API has led us to adapt our commercial policy regarding the relationship with the customer,” the airline said. “At the moment we no longer offer customer service by private message on this platform, but our commercial teams are still available through the usual channels, including other social networks.”
Musk has argued that his changes to Twitter reflect a neutral policy and “fair” policy.
But the move has led to more than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers stopping advertising on the platform since Musk took over, according to data from digital marketing analytics firm Pathmatics shared with CNN, vox and other media.
“Twitter, like any other private company, has an incentive to generate as much revenue as possible,” said Ryan McCormick, managing partner at Goldman McCormick PR. news week via email. “From a PR perspective, are they taking unnecessary reputational risk by charging the MTA a fee to use their API? I don’t think they are.
“Airlines are among several industries that provide real-time updates to their customers through their website and text messages. No one is stopping the MTA from doing this. If Twitter charged users to receive updates on the MTA’s account MTA, that would be something that could easily become a reputational crisis.”
Twitter’s revenue then declined by 40 percent in December, according to the Wall Street Journal.