Elon Musk has announced measures to limit the number of tweets users can read per day – locking the maximum amount of readable tweets behind a paywall.

Musk claims the tweet limits are temporary and designed to stop “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation” on the social media platform.

The announced cap, which was originally 600 for unverified accounts and 6000 for verified accounts, was met with a fierce backlash from Twitter users.

In response to the initial announcement, users posted screenshots showing they were unable to view any tweets having hit the limit, including those on pages of corporate advertisers.

Shortly after the first announcement, Musk wrote a follow up tweet claiming the rates would increase to 800 for unverified users and 8,000 for verified Twitter users.

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By GlobalData

“We’ve heard the rumour of a Twitter paywall before, but it’s re-emergence suggests that it may actually come to fruition,” Chelsea Hopkins, social media manager at domain and hosting provider at Fasthosts, told Verdict.

Adding: “Musk has been very vocal about Twitter’s shaky economic ground – and there’s little doubt that this latest change aims to bring it back into the black – but seeing a platform actively trying to reduce usage of its product is baffling.”

The news came shortly after Musk announced users would now need an account to read anything on the social media platform. Musk said the measure would “make it harder for scrapers to take Twitter’s data, like ChatGPT’s web browsing plugin has been doing”.

Musk has publicly criticised artificial intelligence firms like ChatGPT maker, OpenAI, for scraping data from Twitter to train large language models.

The Twitter owner threatened to sue Microsoft in April, 2023, for allegedly using Twitter’s data to train its artificial intelligence model.

Other social media firms have retaliated against data sharing to third parties with Reddit announcing it would change its application programming interface, affecting third party apps use of its data.