Steam has introduced new Limited User Accounts to protect its users from spamming and phishing.
Starting immediately, the following features will be restricted from users that have spent less than $5 USD or the equivalent in the Steam store:
- Sending friend invites
- Opening group chat
- Voting on Greenlight, Steam Reviews and Workshop items
- Participating in the Steam Market
- Posting frequently in the Steam Discussions
- Gaining Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
- Submitting content on the Steam Workshop
- Posting in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
- Accessing the Steam Web API
- Using browser and mobile chat
Redeeming gifts, activating retail games, free-to-play games, and the like will not count toward the $5 wall. The only way to access a full account is to add money to your Steam Wallet, buying games for yourself or as gifts, or adding a Steam Wallet card to your account.
This shouldn’t affect the majority of us who have hundreds of games that we’ve bought and never played sitting on our Steam accounts. But for those who just use Steam to jump in a few games of Team Fortress 2 or Dota here and there, this could pose some major hassles. But Valve claims that spending habits are one of the biggest differentiators between real and scam accounts, so this should hopefully crack down on the amount of spamming and phishing that occurs on Steam.
Source: Steam support