Valve had recently introduced the “Limited User Accounts” which they’ve done in order to cut down on the amount of spam and bot accounts created that spam and scam users already on their gaming platform Steam.
An account that has yet to pay up to a $5 USD equivalent inside the Steam store will be labeled as a Limited User Account. According to the steam support page, this means the account can not send friend invites, participate in the steam market, submit content on the steam workshop, level up their steam profile and use the Steam Web API. Basically disabling an account to socialize with other users.
Gifted games, retail purchased games or free to play games do not contribute to the $5 USD threshold, which to me is honestly not too much of a big deal. For free to play games such as Team Fortress 2, if you buy for example keys or guns to the total of $5, it will count.
For most current users of Steam, this won’t pose too much of an issue; and it will cut down a lot of spam accounts that have been causing havoc on Steam. I can sympathize with younger users who may not have a credit card to be able to purchase games. That said, there is an alternative with the Steam wallet cards that they could purchase at a local shop. For people who can’t afford games right now; if you’re serious about wanting these features, it couldn’t hurt to do some chores for parents or the elderly for just $5 so you could activate it. For people who STILL have an issue; fair enough, and I hope you somehow procure that $5 somehow!