Threads copies Twitter again, introduces ‘rate limits’ to combat bots
Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter alternative, Instagram Threads, has been forced to implement rate limits in response to a growing number of reports citing spam attacks and crypto-shilling bots.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri the introduction of rate limits in a July 17 post on the Threads app.
Adam Mosseri’s explanation for the introduction of rate limits on Threads. Source: Threads
“Spam attacks have picked up so we’re going to have to get tighter on things like rate limits, which is going to mean more unintentionally limiting active people (false positives). If you get caught up [in] those protections let us know,” Mosseri explained.
One user complained that they were spending half their time on the app blocking bots that were pushing “gambling and crypto sites.”
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter took a jab at the announcement, replying “lmaooo copy 🐈” to a screenshot of the announcement posted to Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 17, 2023
On July 1, Twitter imposed hard rate limits on users albeit for a different reason — citing extreme levels of data scraping from external organizations. Verified Twitter users are still currently limited to viewing 15,000 posts per day, while unverified and new unverified accounts are capped at 1,500 and 1,000 posts per day, respectively.
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Following its launch on July 5, Threads witnessed a record-breaking uptake of new users, surpassing 100 million users within five days. Unfortunately for Zuckberg, there seems to be a problem with keeping people engaged with the new Twitter alternative.
Olivia Moore, a partner at crypto venture capital firm a16z found that just one week after launch, daily active users on Threads had fallen 40% with the average daily time per user dropping threefold.
Moore believes the move to import users directly from Instagram doesn’t work for a Twitter-esque app like Threads. By tying user accounts directly to their real-life identities on Instagram, it discourages the modes of social interaction that Twitter is famous for, namely anonymous accounts and fan pages.
It turns out that plugging 100M users into a copycat product isn’t a slam dunk.
One week after launch, DAUs on the ~other app~ are down 40% and average daily time per user dropped 4x.
Why isn’t it working? ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/rMO4IBHDHf
— Olivia Moore (@omooretweets) July 17, 2023
“Twitter has built a unique social graph and interest graph that’s hard to replace. Even with a copycat product, the underlying networks and user identities developed over a decade are tough to replicate,” said Moore.