Twitter Restricts Posts to Curb Data Scraping and System Manipulation
Elon Musk announced this past Saturday that Twitter would impose restrictions on the number of tweets users could view daily. This move aims to curb "extreme levels" of data scraping and system manipulation. Users have since responded with screenshots showing their inability to view tweets, including those from corporate advertisers, after reaching the newly implemented limit.
Musk's Decision Puts Pressure on Twitter’s New CEO
Industry insiders suggest that Musk's move might create a hurdle for Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s new CEO and former advertising head at NBCUniversal. Yaccarino has been working towards mending relationships with advertisers, many of whom have pulled away from Twitter following Musk's acquisition of the platform last year.
Musk’s Policies Aggravate Advertiser Trust Deficit
According to Mike Proulx, research director at Forrester, these new limitations could be detrimental to both users and advertisers, many of whom have been unsettled by the upheaval Musk has brought to the platform. "The advertiser trust deficit that Linda Yaccarino needs to reverse just got even bigger. And it cannot be reversed based on her industry credibility alone," Proulx commented.
CEO Yaccarino: Twitter's Last Hope?
Lou Paskalis, founder of AJL Advisory and ex-marketing chief at Bank of America, sees Yaccarino as Musk's "last best hope" to restore ad revenue and uphold the company's value. However, Musk's latest move suggests he may not be willing to empower her enough to mitigate his own controversial decisions.
New Tweet Cap Specifications and Their Implications
Under the new restrictions, unverified accounts were initially allowed to view 600 posts per day, with new unverified accounts limited to 300. Verified accounts could read up to 6,000 posts daily. Musk later updated the cap to 10,000 posts per day for verified users, 1,000 per day for unverified users, and 500 for new unverified users.
Capping Twitter Usage: A Threat to Advertising?
Principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, Jasmine Enberg, warns that the new restrictions on viewing posts could prove "catastrophic" for Twitter's ad business. This move, she argues, will make it even more difficult to persuade advertisers to return to the platform.
Advising Advertisers to Pull Back
In the face of these changes, Olivia Wedderburn, an executive at creative agency TMW Unlimited, is advising clients to "stop investing in Twitter immediately." She notes that the new limitations are repelling highly engaged users, who serve as the primary reason for advertising on Twitter.
Twitter's Steps to Combat Data Scraping
These limitations were introduced shortly after Twitter started requiring users to log into their accounts to view tweets, a move Musk termed a "temporary emergency measure" to battle data scraping. Musk has previously expressed discontent with AI firms like OpenAI for using Twitter's data to train their large language models.
Limitations on AI Training and Implications for Third-Party Data Scraping
Several platforms, including Reddit and major news media organizations, have raised concerns about AI companies using their data for AI model training, with some seeking fees. Researcher Kai-Cheng Yang from Indiana University in Bloomington, however, pointed out that these restrictions have been effective in obstructing third parties, including search engines, from data scraping as previously possible.