Twitter adds TweetDeck paywall, following user viewing limits

Twitter announced yet another change on Monday to the TweetDeck app, aimed at restricting use to users who pay the subscription fee to have the Verified blue check status.

That on top of Twitter's troubles over the weekend have left many people wondering who is running the ship.

Owner Elon Musk, who recently stepped down as CEO, announced Saturday that there would be temporary limits on the number of posts users could see: 300 for new accounts and 6,000 for users who paid the Verified fee.

But that faced a backlash.

"If you're going to limit tweets on what we can see, limit what people can do a day, I don't think it's worth it at all," said JR Key, a Twitter user in Alameda.

"I do think it limits access to people who can't afford it and continues to drive the wealth gap," which I think is not a positive thing," said Josh Fritz of Las Vegas.

Musk stated the reason for the user limits was to limit programmers and data scraping programs from scrolling through and collecting or scraping data from Twitter's app for free.

Ahmed Banafa, an instructor and tech expert at San Jose State University, says Musk's sudden move over the weekend only adds uncertainty about Twitter's future viability.

"That really backfired badly," said Banafa, "He is making customers upset. He is making advertisers upset. And an upset customer is a new customer for your competitor."

"Most of the people that I know have dropped Twitter within the last year or so," said Carrie Madarang, an Alameda resident who says she prefers Facebook and Instagram.

More concern came as Twitter announced another move pushing people to pay.


Bluesky: Jack Dorsey's vision for Twitter 2.0 - Can it succeed?

Bluesky, the internet's hottest members-only spot at the moment, feels a bit like an exclusive club, populated by some Very Online folks, popular Twitter characters, and fed up ex-users of the Elon Musk-owned platform.

On Monday afternoon, Twitter announced a new version of TweetDeck, but at the bottom of the post it says that in 30 days, only people with paid Verified accounts can use it.

"He's trying to put this checkpoint everywhere to prove the subscription model is going to work," said Banafa.

For some the Verified blue check is worth the price.

"I pay for Twitter Blue actually, so I don't have to worry too much about the changes he made and I'm like alright, I'll probably keep paying for it because I use it a lot," said Eric "Efdot", a New York artist, who says he'd prefer not to have to pay for multiple subscriptions on different platforms.

Banafa says what's notable, has been the silence from Twitter's new CEO, Linda Yaccarino. Yaccarino has strong advertising ties and Musk hired her last month to lead the company, leading many to believe she would improve Twitter's appeal to advertisers and generate more ad revenue for Twitter.

"The problem is you can't have 2 captains for one ship. One directing one direction and the other directing the other direction," said Banafa.

The timing of the changes at Twitter could benefit its competitors.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is preparing to launch its own app called Threads on Thursday to compete directly with Twitter for users who want to have a similar platform.