Twitter users expressed extreme frustration on Saturday after the site’s owner, Elon Musk, announced a change that would only allow most users to view 600 tweets per day. And although many users have switched to sites like Bluesky, it seems that this site now has problems of its own. In fact, the invitation-only site has suspended new signups because so many people are leaving Twitter and switching to Bluesky.
“We will be temporarily pausing Bluesky logins while our team continues to resolve the ongoing performance issues,” the official Bluesky account wrote at 5:15 p.m. ET.
“We’ll keep you posted when the invite codes start working again. We look forward to welcoming more users to our beta soon!” The account continued.
Bluesky was launched in February as a social media alternative by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. And Bluesky is remarkably similar to Twitter in almost every way. The only downsides are that Bluesky is currently invitation-only and video uploading isn’t available yet. Bluesky also doesn’t have any direct messages, although some people who are frequently harassed on social media platforms might see this as a positive trait.
But Twitter power users need an alternative and other competitors aren’t really suitable. Facebook isn’t great for breaking news, Instagram focuses on images over text, TikTok is all about video, and the other text-based alternatives are mostly run by extreme followers. For example, Truth Social was created by former President Donald Trump.
Bluesky seemed like a viable alternative for most people, although it’s unclear when it might be accessible to everyone. And if Bluesky figures out how to handle the influx of new users, it has a good chance of becoming a serious competitor to Twitter, especially since Musk has broken so many things about the social media site.
Musk insists the new restrictions on reading tweets are temporary and the result of what he calls “extreme levels of data collection” and “system manipulation.” But there are many other theories as to what is going on.
Twitter used Google’s cloud-based services and reportedly just recently stopped paying its bills. Tech news website Platformer reported on June 10 that there was a “maniac rush” to remove much of Twitter’s data from Google. Twitter’s contract with Google reportedly expired on June 30, which was yesterday.
Musk gave up the CEO post at Twitter and in early June hired Linda Yaccarino, who was hired at NBC Universal because of her extensive experience in ad sales. But there’s always been a question about how much control Musk would actually cede, given his reputation as a highly hands-on boss. Many big advertisers stopped spending on Twitter after Musk took over the platform, and some big brands even expressed concerns about being spotted alongside Musk at a major marketing conference in April.
Musk continues to insist that Twitter is close to being profitable. However, it’s not clear if that’s because he’s no longer paying many of the social media company’s bills. In fact, Twitter stopped paying some of its landlords and was recently evicted from an office space in Boulder, Colorado. Twitter, in turn, filed a counterclaim last week.
It seems that Twitter users can use Tweetdeck to at least increase the number of tweets visible on a given day. But if you enjoy using Twitter for more than, say, half an hour a day, you’re out of luck. This actually seems like an opportunity for Twitter competitors like Bluesky if they pull themselves together.