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Twitter tells lurkers to sign in or go home

Twitter homepage

A few months ago, Neowin broke the news that Twitter now required users to sign in to use the search feature. Now, The Verge is reporting that you can’t even see anything on Twitter anymore without first signing in.

You can try out the new “experience” in an incognito tab, just head over to Twitter without signing in and try and view some tweets. A login prompt appears and if you decide not to sign in, you get bounced to Twitter’s rarely-seen homepage where you can sign in or make an account.

The Twitter login prompt

Making users sign in to view any content is a massive reversal for the company. After Elon Musk took over the platform, he hired George Hotz, albeit not for very long because the hacker resigned, to open up the search feature for non-users. Hotz did open up the search for all but this was reversed in April.

It’s unclear why this change has been made but the company may be pushing people to sign up so that it can target adverts at them and make money from their visits to the platform. If Twitter is lucky, it may also convert some of those new sign-ups into paying Twitter Blue customers.

Last month, Twitter announced that Linda Yaccarino, a veteran sales chief, would be taking over the company. Following the news, the advertising company GroupM retracted a declaration that called Twitter “high risk” to brands due to Musk sounding off on the platform every other day.

For a period of time at the end of 2022, Elon Musk became so toxic to Twitter that Mastodon, rival open-source software, reported a massive spike in sign-ups across third-party servers. While the number of new signups is not as sharp as it once was, the total number of users across servers continues to grow much faster than before Musk’s Twitter takeover.

Source: The Verge

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