Elon Musk, the billionaire and owner of Twitter, has announced new restrictions on the number of posts users can read each day. Musk claims that these limitations aim to combat what he perceives as “extreme levels of data scraping” and “system manipulation.” Interestingly, this announcement comes on the heels of Twitter’s decision to make tweet viewing exclusive to registered users only.
Under the new policy, “verified” Twitter users, a classification that Twitter no longer verifies since Musk assumed control of the company, will be restricted to reading 6,000 posts per day. Regular users will be limited to 600 posts, while newly created accounts will have a cap of 300 posts daily. It remains unclear how many posts the average Twitter user consumes each day, but some individuals have already voiced their discontent over reaching these newly imposed limits.
Notably, third-party apps and Tweetdeck currently appear to bypass the limitations for unverified users, at least for now. However, the reason behind this policy change remains obscure. Speculation has arisen about a potential connection between this development and Twitter’s recent decision to cease paying Google for its cloud-based services. Platformer reported on June 10 that Twitter was urgently transferring data away from Google to other service providers. Their contract with Google expired on June 30, which was yesterday.
Previously, Musk expressed his desire for Twitter to become a platform where users spend their “unregretted” minutes online, a distinctive metric rarely measured in the realm of social media advertising.
Unsurprisingly, many Twitter users expressed their dissatisfaction with Musk’s decision to limit the number of tweets one can read per day. Critics argue that this move contradicts the purpose of a social media app, which typically monetizes through ads based on impressions and time spent on the platform. Media commentator Jay Rosen suggested that the underperformance of Twitter Blue, the paid subscription service offering a blue checkmark, might be a factor driving Musk’s push for more subscribers.
Some users humorously likened Twitter’s tweet limits to rationing in a Communist dictatorship, while others saw it as an opportunity to break free from their Twitter addiction. However, concerns arose regarding the impact these restrictions could have on the dissemination of breaking news. For example, an Indiana-based meteorologist explained that critical weather warnings would be impeded by the new limits. He even shared a screenshot of his failed attempt to access the National Weather Service account for Indianapolis, which displayed a notice stating, “rate limit exceeded.”
Despite handing the CEO position to Linda Yaccarino in early June, Musk continues to exert influence over important decisions at Twitter. Yaccarino, formerly of NBC Universal, was brought on board to reassure advertisers who grew apprehensive about the changes implemented by Musk following his acquisition of the platform.
Musk’s efforts to make Twitter profitable have involved staff layoffs and reportedly ceasing payments to various vendors and landlords. This approach, however, has sparked disputes, as evidenced by a recent lawsuit filed against Twitter by a landlord in Boulder, Colorado. Twitter’s parent company, X, retaliated with a countersuit over eviction.
Inquiries made on Saturday regarding these post limits were met with a poop emoji response—an automated message established by Musk upon purchasing Twitter.
In a subsequent update, Musk has now announced revised post limits, which have been increased to 8,000 posts for verified users, 800 posts for unverified users, and 400 posts for new unverified accounts. The ongoing changes within Twitter suggest a dynamic and evolving landscape for the platform.