There’s a lot going on at Twitter since Elon Musk acquired the social network last year. After removing blue checkmarks and limiting the reach of accounts that don’t pay for Twitter Blue, the platform no longer lets users use its search without being logged in. In addition, Musk recently suggested that Fleets are coming back.
Twitter restricts its search to registered users
Twitter has become an important place for researchers and journalists since a lot of people tweet about events in real time there. Even those without a Twitter account could quickly search for tweets on the social network. But as noted by some users, this is no longer possible.
As of this week, Twitter has restricted its search to users who are logged into the social network. If you open the Twitter website in a web browser while logged out, you can see some suggested tweets (including some from Elon Musk), but there’s no longer an option to use the search.
For this, you need to log into an account first. The same goes for when someone sends you a link with Twitter search results.
This comes as no surprise as Twitter has also restricted its free API, a change which has affected academic researchers who previously could easily download large amounts of tweets for study purposes. Requesting access to large amounts of tweets now costs at least $100 per month.
Fleets might return to the social network
Back in 2020, Twitter announced Fleets – its version of Stories, a feature that has become popular on Snapchat and Instagram. With Fleets, users could post short messages or even photos and videos that disappeared after 24 hours. However, Twitter users never seemed to care about Fleets, and the feature was discontinued a year later.
Interestingly, it seems that Fleets might be back soon. On his personal Twitter profile, Musk replied to a user who asked for the return of Fleets. The social network owner said, “But not in the way it was done last time,” which suggests that the company may be working on a new version of Twitter Fleets.
Of course, bringing Fleets back could mean another way of showing advertisements on Twitter. Due to the latest controversies surrounding Twitter, many advertisers have left the platform, which has forced the company to push the paid subscription Twitter Blue on users to maintain its revenue.
Twitter has also lost half its market value since it was acquired by Musk.
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