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TweetDeck suffers outage after Twitter imposes new limits

A sign attached to Twitter's global headquarters is viewed from a sidewalk on Market Street in San Francisco, California. June 18, 2014. (Photo: Matthew Keys/The Desk/Creative Commons)
A sign attached to Twitter’s global headquarters is viewed from a sidewalk on Market Street in San Francisco, California. June 18, 2014. (Photo: Matthew Keys/The Desk/Creative Commons)

A move by Twitter over the weekend to limit the number of posts a user can see, depending on whether they’re willing to pay to use the platform, is causing issues with other functions of the website.

The issues extend to TweetDeck, an application favored by some of Twitter’s more-robust users, which allows community members to see multiple real-time Twitter feeds from a single screen.

Or, at least, that’s how TweetDeck used to work. As people were returning to their desks on Monday, most opened TweetDeck to find their columns and lists were no longer updating, nor were their home feeds or direct messages.

Sending tweets from within TweetDeck still pushed them out to followers, though there was no visual confirmation on a user’s end that anything was published.

The issues began over the weekend after Twitter owner Elon Musk said the website would begin limiting the number of posts a user is able to see per day. Free Twitter users were limited to around 600 posts per day, while Twitter Blue subscribers — those willing to pay $8 a month or $80 a year for extra features — saw a tenfold increase in their allotment. (Musk later announced an increase to 1,000 for free users and 10,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers.)

Musk justified the limits by complaining about “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation,” though it wasn’t clear what he meant by that.

TweetDeck wasn’t specifically mentioned as a platform that would be impacted by the change, but it seems more than coincidental that the application would suffer problems around the same time that the changes were implemented.

The issues afflicting TweetDeck add to mounting problems at Twitter since Musk took over the platform in a private sale valued at around $44 billion. Within days of the purchase, Musk laid off or fired a large chunk of Twitter’s technical and customer support teams — the staff that kept Twitter running across multiple fronts.

The decision to lay off those staff appeared to stem from Musk’s view that Twitter excessively spent money on human resources and technology, and that the platform could function with less. Things haven’t quite panned out that way, with Twitter suffering from a wide variety of problems, including regional outages that last hours and a widespread — and still unresolved — issue involving two-factor authentication protocols.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).