Threads mirrors Twitter with new rate limits as spam bots swarm the site

It wasn't just a Twitter thing after all.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
The Instagram Threads app is seen on a phone with a Twitter logo in the background in this illustration photo on 06 July, 2023 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images

All good things must come to an end. Along with the 114 million users that have joined Threads since its launch less than two weeks ago, there's also been an influx of spam accounts. These accounts are wreaking such havoc on users that Meta has now imposed a rate limit on its users, much like Twitter did at the beginning of this month. 

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, explained on a Thread, "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."

Also: Bluesky vs. Threads vs. Mastodon: If you leave Twitter, where will you go?

Social media spam accounts tend to follow users and then like, share, or comment on their posts or try different ways to gain followers to sell a product, service, or belief system. In the case of Threads, many users have complained bots promoting gambling and crypto sites kept commenting on their posts.

Twitter set rate limits on July 1 in a move that owner Elon Musk said would "address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation" and immediately garnered backlash from unhappy users. The platform's limits have eased since, but Threads launched just four days later, on July 5, as an alternative to Twitter

Also: 5 things to know about Threads before you entangle your Instagram account

Threads became the fastest-growing app of all time, reaching 100 million users in under a week, dethroning ChatGPT, which had reached the same number of users in two months. 

"I'm very optimistic about how the Threads community is coming together. Early growth was off the charts, but more importantly, 10s of millions of people now come back daily. That's way ahead of what we expected," Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta, the parent company of Threads, also shared on a thread

Also: Could someone falsely accuse you of using AI-generated text? This could be why

For now, no specific information is available on the rate limits.

"The focus for the rest of the year is improving the basics and retention. It'll take time to stabilize, but once we nail that then we'll focus on growing the community. We've run this playbook many times (FB, IG, Stories, Reels, etc.) and I'm confident Threads is on a good path too," Zuckerberg said.

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