So I'm doing maintenance on a client's Twitter account, working away at a leisurely pace, unfollowing old accounts and those which declined to follow back, minding my own, when BAM! The above error appeared at the top of the page, and I couldn't do anything else under this account on Twitter.
An hourly usage limit?!
I had never heard of such a thing, so I did the obvious thing - I Googled the error message. Seems other people are getting it, too, and even Twitter doesn't know why. Well, that's somewhat of a relief. Twitter does have some anti-spam limits in place, but the people who are getting this "hourly limit" message aren't meeting those. Some are using third-party applications, and some are just using Twitter directly when it happens.
An hourly usage limit for legitimate users would just be funny, and will most likely never be imposed by Twitter or any other social network (this would be counter-productive). Hopefully Twitter will get this resolved soon. I did eventually get back in, and finished what I was doing on my client's account. While we're on the topic of Twitter limits, however, here's those anti-spam limits. You'll want to avoid these if you're setting up a new account in order to avoid appearing to be a spam account:
Direct Messages: 250 per day.
Updates: 1,000 per day. The daily update limit is further broken down into smaller limits for semi-hourly intervals. Retweets are counted as updates.
Changes to Account Email: 4 per hour.
Following (daily): Please note that this is a technical account limit only, and there are additional rules prohibiting aggressive following behavior. You can find detailed page describing following limits and prohibited behavior on the Follow Limits and Best Practices Page. The technical follow limit is 1,000 per day.
Following (account-based): Once an account is following 2,000 other users, additional follow attempts are limited by account-specific ratios. The Follow Limits and Best Practices Page has more information.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.