Today, Halloween 2022, I’m pulling the plug on all of my Twitter Bots. No more posts, ever. I won’t go over the details of each bot too much, if you’d like to know, check out my previous blog posts or a general roundup of the bots here. As of now, and in rough numbers, the bots have around 60,000 followers collectively, and have posted well over 100,000 times. That’s a lot of posts!
The overarching reason here is that Heroku is killing their free tier for app hosting. All of my Twitter bots have lived on free Heroku hosting since I started creating them in 2013. The free Heroku hosting was a great deal for Twitter bots: as apps that didn’t have to be continuously available, you could trigger the bot’s code every 10 minutes via a scheduler and come in well under the uptime limits for the free plans. I don’t remember what those limits were as I did the math quite a a while ago, but to put it another way: running all of these bots since 2013 cost me a total of $0.
I could have moved the bots to other hosting, there are a lot of Heroku-style platforms that offer similar services, some of which even have comparable free plans.
Ultimately I decided to pull the plug. “Leave ‘em wanting more,” as the show biz saying goes. I wrote most of these bots in 2013-2015, as learning exercises at the beginning of my career as a software developer. At this point I’m in an entire different stage of my life and my career, and I feel like leaving these bots in the past, instead of dragging them along with me for the foreseeable future, is the right move. I like the idea of projects like this having a finite lifespan. Very few things are meant to last forever, and many things that do go on forever likely should not. These bots were a wonderful learning experience and a great chance for me to explore, but they did their duty, and now they can rest.
I’ll leave all the posts up as long as Twitter survives, I have no plans to take down the archives, and most of the bots have open source code, so on the rare chance that someone wishes to resurrect one of them they have both my blessing and the code required to do so.