In a recent turn of events, Twitter’s power-user focused interface, TweetDeck, is encountering significant issues after Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, announced limits on the number of tweets users can view daily. Numerous users, including Twitter Blue subscribers, have reported encountering an empty interface that should typically be filled with tweets.
The problems extend beyond the absence of content, with notifications, mentions, likes, and lists failing to load properly. While users have been experiencing difficulties with Twitter over the weekend, the problems with TweetDeck are particularly troublesome for professional and power users who heavily rely on the platform to build their brands, promote their work, and even use it as a reporting tool within newsrooms.
Although initial speculation linked these issues to the new tweet viewing limits announced by Elon Musk on July 1st, two Twitter employees have clarified that this is not the case. Instead, they attribute the problems to the removal of legacy APIs in the old version of TweetDeck. Twitter is currently planning to transition users to the new version of the app, which has been in the preview stage. These rate limits are implemented in the new TweetDeck.
Elon Musk claims that the temporary limits are necessary to combat “extreme levels of data scraping [and] system manipulation” on the platform. Under the new limits, verified accounts (typically Twitter Blue subscribers) are restricted to viewing 6,000 posts per day, while other accounts are limited to either 600 or 300 tweets, depending on their account age. Later, Musk increased these limits to 10,000 tweets for verified subscribers and between 1,000 and 500 tweets for other users.
As of Monday morning, Twitter’s main website and apps seem to be functioning normally. The introduction of these limitations comes just a day after Twitter started blocking unregistered users from reading tweets due to similar concerns. Musk justified the change by stating that several hundred organizations were aggressively scraping Twitter data, which began to negatively impact the user experience. Musk’s comments imply that AI companies may be the primary culprits, using Twitter data to train large language models.
While Musk portrays these limitations as intentional measures, they highlight the platform’s recent struggles with reliability. In early March, Twitter experienced a major outage that prevented users from viewing images or following links posted on the platform. This issue reportedly arose due to a misconfiguration by the sole engineer responsible for shutting down free access to the Twitter API, resulting in a broken API. Since taking ownership of the company, Elon Musk has initiated several rounds of layoffs, leaving critical infrastructure and user experience teams with a significantly reduced workforce.
Musk claims to have laid off over 6,000 employees, reducing Twitter’s total headcount from nearly 8,000 to around 1,500. Additionally, Twitter temporarily halted payments to Google Cloud for its services until the new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, resolved the situation and mended the relationship, according to Bloomberg.
When approached for comment, Twitter’s press line responded with an automated poop emoji, which has become customary since Elon Musk assumed control of the company and restructured its communications department.
Update: Twitter employees have shed light on the cause of the issues, attributing them to the removal of legacy APIs and stating that users will be transitioned to the new version of TweetDeck.
The recent limitations imposed on Twitter’s TweetDeck interface have resulted in significant disruptions for users, particularly professionals and power users who rely heavily on the platform. While the issues were initially attributed to the tweet viewing limits announced by Elon Musk, they have been clarified as being caused by the removal of legacy APIs. This situation highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Twitter in terms of reliability and showcases the aftermath of Musk’s restructuring efforts at the company.