Threads follows Twitter in imposing rate limits

18 Jul 2023

Image: © AdriaVidal/

Twitter recently limited the number of tweets users could see each day, though Elon Musk said this was to deal with ‘extreme levels of data scraping’.

Threads has taken another note from Twitter’s manual by imposing a rate limit to deal with a rise in spam attacks.

The Instagram-linked app has grown rapidly since launching earlier this month, gaining more than 100m users within five days of being released. Threads bears a lot of similarities to Twitter, in both design and function.

But the rapid growth has also led to a rise in spam attacks. As a result, Threads is enacting a rate limit, which puts a cap on how often a user can repeat an action on the app.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri warned that this measure could lead to “false positives”, where active users get limited unintentionally while on Threads.

This follows a similar measure taken by Twitter at the start of July, when the site started limiting the number of tweets that users could see in a day. Elon Musk claimed the limit was imposed to stop “data scraping”.

The Twitter owner claimed hundreds of organisations were scraping data from Twitter “extremely aggressively” to benefit their AI products. He also claimed this activity was affecting “the real user experience”.

“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.

This limit caused an outcry among Twitter users and it was during this chaotic period that Threads became available for pre-order on certain mobile app stores.

Musk responded to the latest decision by Threads by claiming it is another “copy”. The billionaire has threatened to sue Threads-owner Meta, over allegations that the app looks too similar to Twitter, is an affront to its IP and was built by former Twitter employees who hold on to trade secrets.

Meanwhile, Musk recently revealed that Twitter is suffering financially due to a significant drop in its advertising revenue. He claimed the company is in negative cash flow due to roughly a 50pc drop in ad revenue and a “heavy debt load”.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic