Something was very wrong with Twitter Wednesday afternoon, but it’s not clear exactly what. For several hours, core features, including direct messages and tweets, were not working for large swaths of users. But by 6:30 PM ET, Twitter had confirmed that it was aware of the issue and working to get it resolved. Shortly afterwards, service appeared to return to normal.
While some users were able to tweet, many users received messages that they can’t tweet or as they are “over the daily limit for sending Tweets.” A similar message appeared when attempting retweets: “Sorry! You’ve have exceeded your Tweet limit. Try retweet again tomorrow.” Trying to follow accounts also produced an error about reaching a "daily limit."
While rate limiting can in some cases be an anti-spam tactic, the messages are appearing even for accounts that have shared relatively few tweets. In my case, I tweeted less than two dozen times on Wednesday and still received the errors. According to Twitter, the “technical limit” for accounts is 2,400 tweets and 500 direct messages a day. The daily "follow limit" is 400.
Additionally, direct messages were down for many users. Instead of the normal inbox view, an alert simply said: “Something went wrong. Try reloading.” Previously sent messages were also inaccessible.
It’s not clear what the source of these issues was. Twitter, which no longer has a communications team, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The problems cropped up a day before the company is set to shut down the free version of its API, though it's not clear if the two issues could be related.
Update 2/8 6:30 PM ET: The ability to tweet (without scheduling) seems to be back for most users. The ability to direct message or follow a new account is still broken. In a tweet from its support account, Twitter said the service "may not be working as expected for some of you," but didn't elaborate on the source of the problems. "We're aware and working to get this fixed."
Twitter may not be working as expected for some of you. Sorry for the trouble. We're aware and working to get this fixed.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 8, 2023