Developer terms

Commercial and non-commercial use of the X API

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

Updated February 27, 2023:
We have been hard at work developing our new free and basic API tiers, which are set to launch very soon. With these upcoming changes, X is also looking at new ways to continue serving the academic community. Stay tuned to @XDev for launch day and to learn more.

Picking the right access for your needs

How you plan to use the X API will determine which access is best suited to meet your goals. Essential, Elevated and Academic Research access are free.




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


  • 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
  • Available to all approved developers across a broad range of use cases like to engage, teach, learn, play, or create

Academic Research access 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 Academic Research access includes specialized, greater levels of access, it is reserved solely for non-commercial use.

Using Academic Research access to the X API

To qualify for Academic Research access, 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 access for only non-commercial use makes it possible for us to provide long-term support for the needs of researchers who rely on the X API to do their work.

Final decisions about whether your use of the API is considered commercial or non-commercial will be at X’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 X API will be considered non-commercial as long as you are not using your X 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 Academic Research access, this access may only be used for non-commercial purposes.

While not an exhaustive list, some examples of allowed, non-commercial use for the Academic Research access 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 other access levels to the X API.

See what's possible with X data for research

What we mean by “commercial use”

Your use of the X 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, Essential and Elevated access are 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 X 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 X 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 other access levels on the X API.

Developers can still use the X API with Essential access— the ideal place to explore, learn, play, and build with v2 endpoints. 

See commercial use success stories

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 access. Depending on the access you are approved for, your Project may be designated “non-commercial.” 

If you are approved to use Academic Research access, the information provided in your application will be displayed in your Project. Your Project reflects your approved use case for research with X data, and it cannot be changed without express approval from X. 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 access level 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 Academic Research access?

X 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 access for only non-commercial use makes it possible for us to continue serving the developer community, while still supporting the public good that comes from research using public X data.


If I’m using Academic Research access, but I want my idea to become a business, can I use it? 

If you’ve been approved to use Academic Research access, your access should be used exclusively for non-commercial purposes. Once you want to create a monetized service or product with your access to the X API, you will need to sign-up for Essential access and, if you need more, upgrade to Elevated access for your new use case.


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

Anyone who wants to build with the X API can sign up for Essential access and get started building right away. If greater levels of access are required, you can apply for higher levels of access through the developer portal.


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 X API, let us know here.