Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Saturday announced rate limits on the number of tweets users can view which caused a spike in traffic at rival social media platform Bluesky.
Musk imposed the rate limits because of "extreme levels" of data scraping and system manipulation, saying that Twitter was "getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading the user experience!" The rate limits gradually rose from 6,000 posts per day for verified accounts and 600 posts per day for unverified accounts, to 10,000 for verified users and 1,000 for unverified users.
When users hit their limits, they received error messages saying, "Rate limit exceeded" or "Unable to load tweets" as tweets failed to load and populate users’ feeds with fresh content. Twitter users who were frustrated by the limits impeding their typical usage flocked to social media company Bluesky, a startup that is still in an invite-only beta testing phase and is backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
Bluesky said Saturday that the influx of visitors caused "some degraded performance as a result of record-high traffic." That instability prompted the social media platform to temporarily pause sign-ups to address those issues on Saturday, though it resumed sign-ups late Sunday.
As of the end of April, Bluesky’s website stated that the platform had more than 50,000 users. Aside from users requesting to sign up via a waitlist, Bluesky says on its website that it periodically distributes invitations for existing users to distribute to other participants. Depending on the quality of invitees converted into users, the platform gives certain users more invites.
As for the cause of the excessive data scraping on Twitter, Musk attributed it to artificial intelligence (AI) companies pulling in data for the purpose of training their models.
"Almost every company doing AI, from startups to some of the biggest corporations on Earth, was scraping vast amounts of data. 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," Musk said in a tweet.
Twitter replied to a request for comment with an automated response containing a poop emoji, which is standard for any media request since Musk let go of the entire communications team. Bluesky did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
FOX Business' Timothy Nerozzi and Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.