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The End of SHiFTBot: Twitter API Changes Force the Shutdown of a Beloved Bot

On April 14, 2023, SHiFTBot, a Twitter bot dedicated to parsing, archiving, and storing SHiFT Codes for the Borderlands game series, announced its official end after a decade of operation. The bot’s creator, @dgSHiFTCodes, shared the news via TwitLonger, stating that the shutdown is not due to lack of interest but rather the recent changes to Twitter’s API policy.

SHiFT Codes · @dgSHiFTCodes 15th Apr 2023 from TwitLonger SHiFTBot's Officially Dead (14 APR 2023) After over a decade of parsing, archiving and storing SHiFT Codes in one simple place, I'm sad to announce that the project is now officially dead. This is not a choice I've made out of laziness or lack of interest. Truth be told, I lost interest in the series after I finished Borderlands 3. The DLC's were meh and I didn't even bother buying Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. However, I did keep working on the SHiFTBot and the site because I know people used it and it was only costing me a few hours here and there on weekends to keep it updated with latest patterns to recognize new tweets and rewards. That all changed about 2 hours ago (18:00 EDT 14 APR 2023). Twitter has officially killed off it's entire free API section that has been powering these services for years. Every app I've ever written that utilizes twitter is basically being held ransom for $100/mo per every 2 applications. Regardless of how much you actually utilize the API or consume, it's a flat $100/mo for 2 apps. SHiFTBot utilizes very very little twitter resources. Basically tweeting once or twice a week and that's pretty much it. Even more so it generates very very little revenue. I've never been in this for the money, but now it's a ridiculous expense. The idea of having to spend $1200/yr on an app that may generate about 50ish tweets total is absurb. That's literally $24 per tweet. To put this in comparison, it costs me only $60 a year for the webserver and all the processors that run the entire service. It just doesn't make sense. So rather than hand over more money to an already disgustingly rich billionaire I'm just shutting it down. It's been fun, I've honestly enjoyed the people I've met along the way, but this is the end. In the coming weeks I'll just simply open-source all the Python bots and you can do as you please. Enjoy your time on this rapidly sinking ship.

SHiFT Codes · @dgSHiFTCodes - 15th Apr 2023 from TwitLonger

SHiFTBot's Officially Dead (14 APR 2023)

After over a decade of parsing, archiving and storing SHiFT Codes in one simple place, I'm sad to announce that the project is now officially dead.

This is not a choice I've made out of laziness or lack of interest. Truth be told, I lost interest in the series after I finished Borderlands 3. The DLC's were meh and I didn't even bother buying Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. However, I did keep working on the SHiFTBot and the site because I know people used it and it was only costing me a few hours here and there on weekends to keep it updated with latest patterns to recognize new tweets and rewards.

That all changed about 2 hours ago (18:00 EDT 14 APR 2023). Twitter has officially killed off it's entire free API section that has been powering these services for years. Every app I've ever written that utilizes twitter is basically being held ransom for $100/mo per every 2 applications. Regardless of how much you actually utilize the API or consume, it's a flat $100/mo for 2 apps.

SHiFTBot utilizes very very little twitter resources. Basically tweeting once or twice a week and that's pretty much it. Even more so it generates very very little revenue. I've never been in this for the money, but now it's a ridiculous expense.

The idea of having to spend $1200/yr on an app that may generate about 50ish tweets total is absurb. That's literally $24 per tweet. To put this in comparison, it costs me only $60 a year for the webserver and all the processors that run the entire service. It just doesn't make sense.

So rather than hand over more money to an already disgustingly rich billionaire I'm just shutting it down. It's been fun, I've honestly enjoyed the people I've met along the way, but this is the end.

In the coming weeks I'll just simply open-source all the Python bots and you can do as you please. Enjoy your time on this rapidly sinking ship.

What are SHiFT Codes?

SHiFT codes are a unique feature in the Borderlands series of games, developed by Gearbox Software. These codes can be redeemed to unlock various in-game rewards and bonuses. The Borderlands series, which includes Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands 3, and the latest Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, is a popular franchise of first-person shooter games with role-playing elements, known for its distinctive cel-shaded graphics and irreverent humor.

SHiFT codes are primarily used to obtain Golden Keys, which in turn can be used to open special Golden Chests found within the game. These chests contain valuable loot, including rare weapons, shields, and other items, which can significantly improve a player’s gameplay experience. The rarity and power of the items depend on the player’s level at the time of opening the chest.

Gearbox Software and its partners regularly release new SHiFT codes through various channels, such as social media platforms, newsletters, and special events. These codes often have an expiration date, meaning players must redeem them within a certain time frame to claim their rewards. Some codes are also exclusive to certain platforms or regions.

Twitter has terminated its free API access, which has been powering numerous services, including SHiFTBot, for years. The new policy requires developers to pay $100 per month for every two applications that utilize the Twitter API, regardless of the extent of API consumption. For SHiFTBot, which only tweets once or twice a week, this translates to an exorbitant expense of $1,200 per year or approximately $24 per tweet.

The decision follows Twitter’s announcement of the new paid basic tier for API access, which has received backlash from software developers and Twitter followers. Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter in 2022, defended the change, arguing that the free API system was being abused by bots and scammers, and the $100 per month fee would “clean things up greatly.” However, critics like Anil Dash, CEO of Glitch, contend that the fee will eliminate smaller bots but allow spam bots to continue posting.

The change is expected to impact hundreds of thousands of bot accounts, from journalism tools like @Dataminr to those used to monitor and flag hate speech. In the coming weeks, @dgSHiFTCodes plans to open-source all the Python bots, allowing users to do as they please. As the SHiFTBot creator bids farewell to the project, the Twitter bot landscape faces a significant transformation, with many developers questioning the new API policy’s impact on creativity and innovation.

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