As Elon Musk imposes rate limits on Twitter, Bluesky and Mastodon gain BIG

Elon Musk recently announced a temporary limit on the number of tweets a user can view in a day. Soon after, text-based social platforms such as Bluesky and Mastodon recorded very high traffic.

| Updated on: Jul 04 2023, 19:56 IST
Elon Musk
Mastodon and Bluesky emerge as winners as Elon Musk puts a tweet cap on Twitter. (REUTERS)
Elon Musk
Mastodon and Bluesky emerge as winners as Elon Musk puts a tweet cap on Twitter. (REUTERS)

Twitter users were left shocked last weekend after the company chairman and CTO Elon Musk posted a tweet that revealed that due to “extreme levels of data scraping” and “system manipulation”, the social media platform will be temporarily adding a limit to the number of tweets a user can see in a day. After a brief back and forth, the number was set as 10,000 tweets for verified users, 1,000 for unverified users, and 500 for unverified new accounts. Most users felt this was an inadequately small number as every time they scroll past a tweet, it would add to the total count. Needless to say, the move wasn't a popular one, but its side effects were felt on Twitter-rival platforms such as Bluesky and Mastodon, as they recorded high user activity and website traffic over the weekend.

Bluesky reports ‘record-high' traffic

Jack Dorsey-backed decentralized social media platform Bluesky was among the gainers as Twitter users flocked to other platforms after they hit their limit. According to a report by CNBC, the platform witnessed ‘record-high' traffic over the weekend.

This was surprising given Bluesky is still in the beta phase where users can only join the platform on an invitation basis. The platform itself was not prepared to handle such a huge users number, and by the end of Saturday, it stated that it was experiencing “some degraded performance as a result of record-high traffic” and had to temporarily pause sign-ups.

The sign-ups were reopened late Sunday. The exact number of users Bluesky onboarded during this period is not known. However, in April, it announced that it had crossed the 50,000-user mark.

Mastodon's posting activity tripled

Another popular destination for Twitter users looking for a new platform was Mastodon. The company founder and CEO Eugen Rochko posted the high weekend numbers. He said, “So, weekend tally: The number of active users across Mastodon rose by 294K, and posting activity roughly tripled. Lots of new sign-ups, but also many returning users. Fun times”.

It is believed that the numbers were largely due to Twitter's new rule forcing users to find other platforms to connect with their friends and social circle.

The high user activity also came at a good time for the platform as it released a new update for its Android app, giving it “a complete Material You redesign”. Explaining the new features of the platform, Rochko said in a post, “We've entirely revamped the previously sparse settings section with dozens of new ways to customize your experience, as well as the ability to access information about the server you're connected to and view its rules. You can choose to hide boost/favourite counters, remind yourself to add alternative text for media uploads, change your default posting language, hide all content warnings, and much more”.

Twitter troubles can increase as Instagram Threads gets a release date

Earlier today, reports revealed that Instagram's new text-based social media platform can be launched on July 6 based on its App Store listing. The platform can add more troubles for Twitter as the competition for the best microblogging platform is likely to get more intense. It will be interesting to see whether Musk or the newly appointed CEO of Twitter Linda Yaccarino can turn the tides and gain back the trust of the user base.

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First Published Date: 04 Jul, 19:56 IST