Twitter now requires users to sign in to view tweets in order to curb 'pillaged' data

The platform also gave another perk to Blue subscribers by increasing the character limit to 25,000 and allowing up to four inline images

Unregistered users who want to view a Twitter profile will now be prompted to log in or sign up, while those attempting to view tweets will be greeted with the 'Something went wrong. Try reloading' message. AFP
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Latest: Twitter users experience issues accessing the platform

Twitter is now requiring users to have an account and be logged in, in order to view user profiles and tweets, a move its owner Elon Musk claims will prevent data from being "pillaged so much".

The move, the latest in a long list of game-changing moves the social media platform has enforced since Mr Musk's $44 billion takeover in October, suddenly began on Friday, yet users still reported being able to view tweets without problems.

On Saturday, unregistered users who want to view a Twitter profile will be prompted to log in or sign up, while those attempting to view tweets will be greeted with the "Something went wrong. Try reloading" message, The National can confirm.

The unannounced move was initially speculated to be a glitch, which has happened a number of times during Mr Musk's time at the helm.

He did, however, confirm it in a number of tweets, in which he said that the move was a "temporary emergency measure".

"We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users," Mr Musk said.

"Several hundred organisations [maybe more] were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively, to the point where it was affecting the real user experience. What should we do to stop that? I’m open to ideas."

Mr Musk did not provide any details on his claims of data being pillaged. Twitter has not released a statement, and remains unresponsive to e-mailed requests for comment.

Separately, Twitter also announced that it has boosted the character limit for its Blue subscribers to 25,000, from a recent increase to 10,000.

Blue users will also be able to embed up to four in-line images, adding to the perks of paying up to use the platform.

The move is apparently meant for "improved longform posts", Mr Musk tweeted.

Mr Musk, the world's wealthiest person, has implemented several changes at Twitter since taking over in a bid to boost user numbers and increase its bottom line, including introducing paid tiers for users and laying off thousands of employees.

Twitter's revenue and adjusted earnings plunged by 40 per cent on an annual basis in December as several advertisers withdrew after Mr Musk took charge of the company, the Wall Street Journal reported in March. The company has also started to share advertising revenue with content creators.

He is also attempting to make the platform more transparent by making Twitter's algorithm open source, in addition to policing its own content and imposing sanctions on offending accounts to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation.

Mr Musk is also planning to develop a new generative artificial intelligence platform to challenge Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

Last month, he stepped down as chief executive after former NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino took over the role. Still, Mr Musk remains highly influential at Twitter, being its chairman and chief technology officer.

The social media platform aims to become the world’s “most accurate real-time information source and a global town square for communication”, Ms Yaccarino said in June.

Updated: July 01, 2023, 6:00 PM