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Triple J Ditches Twitter Account Over Paid Automation Update

28 June 2023 | 4:41 pm | Ellie Robinson

The @triplejplays account has been active for more than 13 years, and has logged over a million songs played on the national youth broadcaster.

Triple J

Triple J (Source: Supplied)

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Under the reign of the cold and heartless (not to mention gratingly unfunny and bigoted) Elon Musk, Twitter is now charging users to operate automated services on their accounts. So, after more than 13 years, triple j have decided to shut down their famed @triplejplays account.

The account was launched in November of 2009 as a way for the national youth broadcaster to chronicle, in realtime, every single track that made it to the airwaves. More than one million updates have been posted since, with the last – Good Time by Alex Lahey – being logged at 4:45am AEST last Saturday (June 24).

The account posted one final tweet earlier this afternoon (June 28), reading: “After more than a million tweets sharing the tracks [and] artists we play, we have to say bye to @triplejplays. This is unfortunately due to Twitter moving to a paid model for automated services. To see what we’re playing, head to the triple j app or site.”

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At the same time, the account’s bio was updated to read, “This account is no longer active.” You can click here to see triple j’s proprietary playlist tracker.

During today’s episode of Hobba And Hing, the titular cohosts – Lewis Hobba and Michael Hing – addressed the closure. “At the start of every show,” Hobba said (per Mediaweek), “you check it to make sure it’s working. Every day this week you’ve gone, ‘triple j Plays isn’t working,’ the implication of that being that I haven’t pressed the button. Every time I’ve said, ‘Well, I’ve pressed the button, I’ve done everything I could possibly do to make that work.’ 

“I could tell there was something in your eyes that said, ‘I don’t believe you, you didn’t press the button and you’re doing it now,’ but now we’ve found out that I was right the whole time!”

Hing further explained: “Basically, what happened is Twitter wants to charge for the service and the ABC either can’t afford it or isn’t going to pay for it. I think they probably could, but I actually am with them on this. I don’t think you want to be giving any more money to that to that platform.”

Earlier this month, the @doublejplays account – which as its handle suggests, logged the realtime playlist on Double J – was suspended by Twitter. As the station’s primary account explained on Thursday June 22, “The account was suspended last week – we have no idea why. We've asked Twitter for an explanation but are yet to hear back.” 

Twitter cancelled free programmatic access to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) back in February, instead installing a paid tier to use third-party tweeting services such as HootSuite, TweetBot and ThreadReader. An API allows one application to access information and communicate with another application. Musk has since rolled out a $5,000 per month plan to use APIs on the social media platform.

Meanwhile, last October saw the federal government allocate $500,000 for a feasibility study into the expansion of Double J to FM frequencies.