Is this the end of Twitter — Elon Musk introducers strict rate limits for both verified and non-verified Twitter users.
Twitter, now owned by Elon Musk, has recently introduced a series of changes that have stirred both criticism and approval among users. The social media platform has experienced a series of upheavals since Musk’s takeover a year ago, culminating in the merging of Twitter with a new shell company named X Corp in early April.
Musk has made significant policy changes to Twitter, one of which is the temporary limit on the number of posts users can read daily. This decision was reportedly made to combat what Musk described as “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation. Verified accounts were initially limited to reading 6,000 posts a day, while unverified accounts and new unverified accounts were capped at 600 and 300 posts a day, respectively. These limits were later increased to 10,000 posts for verified users, 1,000 posts for unverified users, and 500 posts for new, unverified users2.
The move was met with backlash from Twitter users, with many reporting problems like not being able to retrieve tweets, missing timelines, or disappearing followers. Some users even received the message “rate limit exceeded” when they tried to view tweets.
Musk’s justification for these limitations has been challenged, with Twitter’s former head of trust and safety expressing skepticism about the claim that data scraping caused such significant performance issues. He stated that data scraping was a known issue at Twitter, but it wasn’t viewed as problematic in the past.
The changes to Twitter under Musk’s leadership have led to a variety of user experiences. Some users, particularly Musk’s dedicated fan base, are embracing the changes. However, many are complaining about frequent outages and bugs, unappealing content in the new For You feed, and the presence of neo-Nazis on the platform. Two major news outlets, NPR and PBS, have even stopped using the platform, citing loss of faith in Musk’s decision-making.
Despite Musk’s claims of “record high usage”, data from Similarweb suggests that Twitter‘s web traffic dropped by nearly 8% last month compared to the year before. Moreover, over half of Twitter’s top advertisers from before Musk’s acquisition were still not advertising with the company as of last month.
Unfortunately, since Twitter is no longer a public company, it doesn’t have to share the details of its user numbers on a regular basis. This means that only Musk and Twitter have direct access to internal numbers on user engagement and time spent, leaving room for doubt regarding the actual user numbers and growth.