Twitter is cutting the number of accounts Twitter users can follow, from 1,000 per day to just 400, a step it is taking to help boot spammers off its platform.
The idea with the new limit is that it helps prevent spammers from rapidly growing their networks by following then unfollowing Twitter accounts in a “bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner” — something that’s a violation of the Twitter Rules.
A number of services were recently banned from Twitter’s API for doing this same thing.
Several companies had been offering tools that allowed their customers to automatically follow a large number of users with little effort. This works as a growth tactic because some people will follow back out of courtesy, without realizing they’ve followed a bot.
The companies also offered tools to mass unfollow the Twitter accounts of those who didn’t return the favor by following the bot back. Other automated tools were often provided, as well — like ones for creating those annoying auto-DMs, for example.
Twitter at the beginning of the year suspended a good handful of apps for violating its rules around “following and follow churn.” But booting the companies only addressed those that aimed to profit by providing spammy automations as a service that others could use.
To really take on the spammers, the limits around how many people Twitter users can follow also had to be changed at the API level which is what has just been dome.