Twitter has recently reversed its decision to limit tweet access to non-logged-in users, with these tweets now being accessible by unregistered users and, crucially, Google's web crawlers. This change will ensure that tweets are still indexed by Google, addressing an unintentional outcome of the initial viewing restrictions.
Twitter had previously blocked all non-logged-in users from viewing tweets in an effort to combat data scrapers. This move had been part of Twitter's larger initiative to restrict the number of tweets users can view within a certain time frame. However, the introduction of these restrictions inadvertently affected Google's crawlers, resulting in a significant drop in tweets appearing in Google's search engine results pages (SERPs).
In addition to making tweets viewable and indexable again, Twitter has also imposed new restrictions on tweet viewing in line with its anti-data scraping measures. These new viewing limits, described as a temporary measure by Twitter, aim to prevent generative AI projects from using tweet data to fuel their language models. Twitter and Reddit have become primary targets for this data, prompting both platforms to increase their security measures against these large language model projects.
However, these restrictions could affect user engagement, a crucial factor for Twitter's advertising business. According to Twitter's own data, 40% of its usage comes from 'logged out guests'. It remains to be seen how Twitter will address these issues while maintaining its efforts to limit data scraping. Ensuring that tweets are indexed by Google is a key aspect of this challenge, and Twitter's ability to implement similar solutions for content filtering will be a focal point moving forward.