April 30, 2009

Twitter Admin Screenshot Leaks Reveal Internal Data

Zee of TheNextWeb relayed a hacker's posting of screenshots ostensibly taken from Twitter's administration interface, available only to select employees within the company. The handful of screenshots display some interesting details in terms of Twitter's internally set limits, the controversial "featured users" lists, and yes, details from some celebrity accounts, including who is blocking who.

The screenshots, which can all be found in the article, Screenshots of Twitter’s Admin. Take a look a look behind the scenes, reveal what user accounts look like from an administration perspective, including a log of dates passwords were changed, when accounts were opened, last used IP, and yes, details on updates, API limits, followers, and direct messages.

Looking at the data shows limits beyond the much-reported 1,000 new users to follow per day, including:
  • A 126 update per day limit
  • A 250 direct messages per day limit
  • A 1,000 favorites per day limit
I question the update per day limit, as I would guess some people do run into that number, but it was consistently labeled across accounts, including those from @britneyspears and @aplusk.

The leaked screenshots also reveal there are, as of the time of publishing, 187 featured users of Twitter, that not only includes celebrities like Shaquille O'Neal and MC Hammer, bloggers Pete Cashmore and Michael Arrington, but Twitter employees, and "Jason Scott's Cat", who can be found at @sockington, with 424,000 subscribers.

Really. A cat has 424,000 subscribers, but you can't follow more than 2,000 if fewer than 1,800 or so are following you. Got it.

On the individual level, the leak shows that the @BarackObama account is blocking nearly 100 users, while Lily Allen and Ashton Kutcher both block Perez Hilton. In contrast, Britney Spears doesn't block anyone, but is blocked by 3,855 Twitter users. Amusing.

Go check out the article at The NextWeb to see all the screen captures.

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