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Explained: Why Twitter is limiting the number of posts you read per day

Elon Musk, owner of the social media company, says that the latest move to temporarily limit the number of posts users read per day is to address "data scraping and system manipulation"

Samidha Jain
Published: Jul 3, 2023 01:46:57 PM IST
Updated: Jul 3, 2023 02:13:41 PM IST

Explained: Why Twitter is limiting the number of posts you read per daySince the morning of July 1, Twitter users have been expressing their dissatisfaction with tweet loading issues, which included error messages indicating that they had exceeded the rate limit. Image: Shutterstock

"Sorry, you are rate limited. Please wait a few moments then try again," read an error message on Twitter when on July 1, Elon Musk, owner of the social media platform introduced—and quickly amended—a new rule of temporarily limiting posts that can be read per day by users. 

What is the change?

As per the initial tweet, verified accounts were restricted to reading 6,000 posts per day, while unverified accounts were limited to 600 posts. Additionally, new unverified accounts had a limit of 300 posts per day. However, within two hours of the initial announcement, Musk tweeted that these limits would soon be increased. Verified accounts would have a new limit of 8,000 posts per day, unverified accounts would be allowed 800 posts, and new unverified accounts would have a limit of 400 posts per day. After another three hours, Musk updated the numbers again, stating that the new limits were now raised to 10,000 posts per day for verified accounts, 1,000 posts for unverified accounts, and 500 posts for new unverified accounts.

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Why the limit?

The changes were made to "address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation," Musk tweeted. He added that the platform was getting "data pillaged”, which was hindering the service for users.  He added that hundreds of organisations or more were scraping Twitter data "extremely aggressively", affecting user experience.


What do users have to say?

Since the morning of July 1, Twitter users have been expressing their dissatisfaction with tweet loading issues, which included error messages indicating that they had exceeded the rate limit. The hashtags "TwitterDown" and "RateLimitExceeded" gained popularity on Saturday as users experienced these new limitations. The website downdetector.com displayed a significant increase in user complaints about accessing Twitter on Saturday morning, with thousands of reported problems by the afternoon. A multitude of Twitter users took to the platform to voice their concerns and seek clarification from Elon Musk himself, conveying their frustrations and inquiries about the situation. Users expressed their discontent with statements such as, "Hey Elon, my Twitter isn't working. What's going on?" and "I'm experiencing a limit on reading tweets? Can you shed some light on this?"

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Other Recent Changes

The implementation of post limitations on Twitter marks yet another development in the ongoing series of changes that have occurred since Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform in October the previous year. In April, the company initiated the process of phasing out the traditional "blue check marks," and has instead introduced a new system where users who fulfil specific eligibility criteria and subscribe to a monthly fee can obtain a check mark, signifying their verified status. This alteration aimed to provide a more streamlined and transparent verification process.

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Furthermore, to diversify its revenue streams beyond digital advertising, Twitter recently unveiled plans to prioritise video content, creator partnerships, and commerce collaborations. By forging alliances with video creators and expanding commerce functionalities, Twitter seeks to engage users and offer them a more immersive and interactive experience.
 
In addition to these changes, Twitter has also introduced a new monetisation approach by charging users for access to its application programming interface (API). The API is a tool utilised by third-party applications and researchers to access and analyse Twitter data. By monetising API access, Twitter aims to capitalise on its valuable data and resources, while also ensuring greater control over the utilisation of its platform.