20 September 2019
Microblogging site Twitter has limited the number of accounts users can follow in a day from 1000 to 400 in a bid to combat spam and bots.
"As a part of our commitment to building a healthy service, we remain focused on stopping spam and abuse on Twitter," a spokesperson for Twitter stated. "We found that having a high daily follow rate contributed to follower churn, and as a result, we are reducing the daily follow rate limit from 1,000 to 400."
Twitter has also applied an overall restriction of 5000 accounts that the user can follow. Once a user hits this limit, they will have to wait until the user has more followers before the user can follow additional accounts. The number is reportedly different for each account and is calculated based on the unique ratio of followers to following.
If a user hits the follow limit, they will receive a message from Twitter stating, “You are unable to follow more people at this time.”. This message will come when the user hits the daily follow limit or tries to follow too many accounts quickly. It can also occur if the user hits the follow ratio limit.
The move is the latest effort by Twitter to cut back on the abilities of spam accounts and bots. It has tried to stop "bulk tweeting" last year and had also added new reporting tools that allow human users to flag bots. The company has also started a verification process that requires users to confirm their identity with a phone number or email address when they create a new account.