Glad I got out when I did

This is a follow-up to Goodbye, Twitter. When I used that website, I generally kept things short. You had to, with only 140 characters, later upped to 280. Even though you could chain multiple tweets together, it wasn’t ideal. Now it’s 4000 for Twitter Blue subscribers.

So let’s return to those days by keeping this post short. I just want to say: I’m glad I got out when I did.

A lot of people are up in arms about the new restrictions on how many tweets users can read per 24-hour period. 500 for users who signed up this month; 1000 for older users; 10,000 for those with deep pockets. Not something that should really affect most users, but I guess some people are addicted to scrolling down Twitter all day.

The bigger issue I see is the inability for users who aren’t logged in to view tweets. A large portion of the point of me posting to Twitter to begin with was so that users and bots alike could view my tweets. This was especially useful for Google, which would display the recent tweets from Twitter users.

Google search results showing a Twitter carousel.
Screenshot taken on the third day of Twitter blocking users who aren’t signed in.

There are also some cases where this will impact the availability of information for people, both in mundane cases such as companies announcing updates to their video game, and in more serious cases such as life-threatening weather conditions (that sort of thing would also be on TV, radio, and online news, but even so).

Fortunately, embeds are still working for the time being, so journalists who embed tweets into articles for a living aren’t out of a job. The ones who take screenshots of tweets instead of embedding will be sleeping very soundly indeed.

It’s not as if gated communities can’t survive. Discord, for instance, has practically no content available to search engines. Even so, it remains troubling that a social network would consider it a good idea to limit the ability to share its content.

It’s rather unfortunate that this happened at the same time as Reddit making its API very expensive, killing off a large portion of third-party mobile apps, though by sheer luck not the one I use (for now… subscription coming later this year). The stars are aligning for a smaller web.

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