Twitter has reduced the number of accounts one can follow in a day from 1,000 to just 400 in a bid to further boot spammers off the platform.
The idea with the new limit is that it helps prevent spammers from rapidly growing their networks by following then unfollowing Twitter accounts in a “bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner” — something that’s a violation of the Twitter Rules.
The platform announced the news through its Safety account saying
Follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow. Who does that? Spammers. So we’re changing the number of accounts you can follow each day from 1,000 to 400. Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) April 8, 2019
Most recently also banned a number of services from its API for doing this same thing. Notably, at the begging of the year, the company also banned several apps that facilitated mass following.
To really take on the spammers, the limits around how many people Twitter users can follow also had to be changed at the API level.
However, some people believe Twitter hasn’t gone far enough with today’s move.
In response to Twitter’s tweet about the new limits, several have responded to ask why the number “400” was chosen, as that is still far more than a regular Twitter user would need to follow in a single day.
Some users said it took years to get to the point of following hundreds of people. Meanwhile, the business use case for following 400 people is somewhat debatable, as DMs can be left open and companies can tweet a special URL to send customers to their inbox to continue a conversation — no following or unfollowing needed on either side.
It took me ~7 years to follow 400 people lmao
— Steven | ZeRoyalViking (@ZeRoyalViking) April 8, 2019
These new limits and the spam dealer crackdown aren’t the only changes the platform has taken in recent months to tackle the spam problem on its platform.
The company also updated its reporting tools to allow users to report spam, like fake accounts; and it introduced new security measures around account verification and sign-up, alongside other changes focused on more proactively identifying spammers. Last summer, Twitter also purged accounts from people’s follower metrics it had previously locked for being spammy.
Combined, the series of actions is designed to make spamming Twitter less attractive and considerably more difficult to scale. This impacts not only those who use spam for capital gain but also the new wave of fake news peddlers looking to topple democracies and disrupt elections — something that now has the U.S. government considering increased regulations for social media.
The short-term impact of these changes could be a drop in Twitter’s monthly user but it’s a bet on the long-term health of the platform instead.
Source Tech Crunch