Twitter users are revolting after owner Elon Musk announced the social media platform is limiting the number of Tweets accounts can read per day.
And while Musk makes headlines for capping access and aggravating Twitter's userbase, Meta has capitalised by dropping a Twitter competitor of its own, called Threads.
On Sunday morning, Musk announced a series of temporary Tweet viewing limits were rolled out to "address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation".
Musk initially announced vastly different reading limits based on account type: 300 posts per day for new unverified accounts, 600 posts per day for existing unverified accounts, and a notably larger 6,000 post per day for verified accounts – which typically require a paid subscription to Twitter Blue to acquire.
He did not clarify how long the limits would be in place.
Soon after, the hashtag "#RateLimitExceeded" went trending on the platform as countless users were met by an empty feed and a message reading "Rate limit exceeded. Please wait a few moments then try again".
Restricted users flooded the platform with mixed responses – some posted memes about going back outside to touch grass, while others revolted and declared their final goodbyes to Twitter.
"'Paid accounts can only use the website for 1 hour per day. Everyone else 7 minutes' is really something," said Twitter user christapeterso.
In a series of weekend Tweets, Musk pointed to "extreme" levels of data scraping coming off the growing artificial intelligence wave, arguing AI startups were in part to blame for increased server demand.
"Almost every company doing AI, from startups to some of the biggest corporations on Earth, was scraping vast amounts of data," said Musk on Twitter.
"It is rather galling to have to bring large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis just to facilitate some AI startup’s outrageous valuation."
Countless users remained unconvinced, and accused Twitter's changes of being financially motivated above all else.
Suspicious users attributed the sudden change to a growing trend of social media giants implementing new ways to profit off their data.
"If Mush thinks I'm going to pay him ransom money to read tweets, he can shove it," Tweeted user NerdySasquatch.
Shortly after announcing Twitter's new limits, Musk trickled out slight increases to how many Tweets users could read per day – capping out at 10,000 for verified accounts, 1,000 for unverified accounts and 500 for new unverified accounts.
Meanwhile, Instagram's rumoured Twitter competitor 'Threads' rolled out for pre-download on the iOS App Store in Australia – and will be available on 6 July.
"Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the App Store description reads.
Bluesky's the limit
Following Musk's announcement, droves of users declared they would be migrating to other platforms such as social messaging platform Discord and newcomer Twitter competitor Bluesky.
BlueSky was initially kicked off as a project by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019 and later became an independent company in 2021.
The platform is currently dependant on invite-only signups via its beta version, leaving many departing Twitter users clamouring for an exclusive in to the app.
"I can’t see more than 10 previous tweets in profile view. Including my own. Does anyone happen to have a Bluesky invite," Tweeted user hoaxeye.
In fact, interest in Bluesky rose so quickly this week that it had to temporarily pause new signups to deal with performance issues.
“We will temporarily be pausing Bluesky sign-ups while our team continues to resolve the existing performance issues," Bluesky wrote in a post.
“We’ll keep you updated when invite codes will resume functionality. We’re excited to welcome more users to our beta soon!”
In spite of the backlash, Musk met widespread user dissatisfaction with a usual mix of dismissal and snark, stating the platform "hit another all-time high" in "user seconds" last week.
"Oh the irony of hitting view limits due to complaining about view limits," Tweeted Musk.
Twitter is reportedly facing a lawsuit over alleged non-payment for office services in four countries, and last week, Australia's eSafety Commissioner issued a legal notice to Twitter over a surge in online hate.