Twitter competitor Bluesky said it experienced “record-high traffic” Saturday after Elon Musk, Twitter’s executive chairman and CTO, said the site will temporarily limit the number of posts users can read per day.
Musk wrote in a tweet that due to “extreme levels of data scraping” and “system manipulation,” verified accounts, unverified accounts and new unverified accounts will be subject to different limits on the social media site. Musk changed the limits several times on Saturday, at one point announcing that verified accounts could view 10,000 posts a day, while unverified accounts could view 1,000 and new unverified accounts could view 500. Users report seeing a “Rate limit exceeded” error message when they have viewed their allotted number of posts.
As a result, people have been turning to Bluesky, an emerging text-based social media site backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Bluesky is still in an invite-only beta phase, and the company said in a post Saturday that its systems were experiencing “some degraded performance as a result of record-high traffic.” The platform also had to temporarily pause sign-ups to address performance issues.
Bluesky resumed sign-ups late Sunday.
Twitter answered CNBC’s request for comment with an automated response. Bluesky did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bluesky was originally incubated within Twitter back in 2019 when Dorsey was still CEO. The app runs on a decentralized networking technology called the AT Protocol, which in theory could power future social apps, enabling people to maintain their identities across multiple platforms.
In February 2022, members of the Bluesky project created the Bluesky Public Benefit LLC, with Jay Graber as CEO and Dorsey as one of the founding board members. The company announced on Twitter in April 2022 that it received $13 million in funding “to ensure we have the freedom and independence to get started on R&D.”
By the end of April this year, Bluesky reached more than 50,000 users, according to its website.
Bluesky is not the only emerging Twitter competitor. The decentralized messaging app Mastodon attracted significant interest in November, and social media giant Metapreviously confirmed to CNBC that it was “exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates.”
Meta may be readying for launch, as The Verge reported Saturday that Meta’s Twitter competitor, called Threads, briefly appeared in the Google Play store.
Meta did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
— CNBC’s Jonathan Vanian contributed to this report.