If you’re not logged into your Twitter account and try to view a tweet, you’ll be presented with a sign in screen. And if you don’t want to have an account on the bird app, too bad!
Twitter hasn’t commented on this change, and given how sloppy the platform has been since Elon Musk’s takeover, it might just be a glitch. However, in a time when Twitter is struggling to grow its user base, it’s possible that this is a tactic to force silent lurkers into making an account.
Like many of Twitter’s recent changes, this could easily backfire. If tweets aren’t publicly accessible, search engine algorithms could rank the site’s content lower, meaning that fewer people would be directed to the site from Google. Also, it’s just kind of annoying.
Musk — who is no longer CEO of Twitter, but still deeply involved in operations — may also be motivated by a desire to prevent AI tools from searching Twitter. Musk has previously admonished Microsoft, which dropped Twitter from its advertising platform, by saying: “They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.”
As new CEO Linda Yaccarino settles into her new role, Twitter has remained riddled with technical errors. Earlier this week, a disproportionate amount of users were notified that they had been suspended for three days due to spam. We’re still not sure what happened there (and Twitter won’t answer our emails), but with Musk in the c-suite, policies can change faster than you can say “$44 billion,” so anything’s possible.