Twitter will “soon” implement daily limits on the number of direct messages unverified accounts will be able to send in “an effort to reduce spam,” the company announced on Friday via its Twitter Support account. In other words, to send unlimited DMs, you’ll need to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription.
In its tweet, Twitter didn’t specify what the daily DM limit may be. On a support page, the company said the changes would be implemented beginning Friday.
When reached for comment, Twitter’s press email didn’t auto-reply with a poop emoji; instead, it sent an automated message promising that “we’ll get back to you soon,” a change Twitter owner Elon Musk announced on Thursday.
Musk has focused a lot on a perceived problem of spam on Twitter. In April 2022, before Twitter had officially accepted his offer to buy the company, Musk tweeted that if the bid succeeded, “we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!”
But a month later, he said the then in-progress Twitter acquisition was “temporarily on hold” while he waited for details to support Twitter’s calculation that bots / spam only accounted for less than five percent of its monthly active users; days later, he asserted that the deal “cannot move forward” until Twitter proved the estimate. The acquisition eventually went through later in the year.
Last week, Twitter introduced a DM setting that the company said was also intended to help reduce spam — but like this news, it doubles as another way to push Twitter Blue. If you have your DMs open, Twitter’s new setting moves DMs from verified users that you don’t follow into the secondary “message request” inbox instead of your main inbox. But that change, which Twitter switched everyone with an open DM inbox over to, also turns off the ability for people who don’t pay for Twitter Blue to message you at all. You can switch back to allowing message requests from everyone, but you have to know where to look.
A few weeks ago, Musk also instituted “temporary” rate limits on reading tweets, and under those limits, Twitter Blue subscribers could read far more tweets than unverified users. It’s unclear if those rate limits are still in place.