After my recent post on Twitter tools and toys I’ve been keeping an eye out for new applications that could expand what is currently possible with the platform. Over the past few days I’ve found three more worthy of note. Except as the more observant of you may have noticed I haven’t updated the post recently. More to the point I don’t actually intend too because all of these new tools are enable advertising or mass-spamming.
Coincidently, As I sit here happily tapping out this post, watching Star Trek: Undiscovered country, GTalk politely informs me I have new follower on Twitter. Who turns out to be yet another spam follower whoring out yet more tools that enable twitter peeps to be spammed – sigh.
Spam followers have been a feature of Twitter for as long as I have been on it ( I joined around circa 1987), mainly done for SEO purposes, fairly easily identified and blocked. Twitter itself has also got far better at shaking out the spam accounts, which partly explains why follower rates tend to fluctuate on a regular basis. This new raft of spam and advertising enabling tools feels different though. One service will pay users to display advertising on their profile, which is against the current ToS, which state.
Publishing, posting or sending unsolicited email, junk mail, “spam”, chain letters, promotions, or advertisements for products or services (except where expressly permitted) is against the Terms of Service.
The company in question is aware of this and promises that if you ad gets pulled before the allotted time it will give credit for more advertising in future. Unfortunately it’s just one of increasing number of sites pimping software or services that offer the ability to create and automate thousands of accounts to push messages.
Many people are currently pointing at the influx of celebrities into the twittersphere as proof that it has gone mainstream, personally I think the rapidly increasing number of ppl trying to make cash out of the system through advertising is a better indicator. Just as we look at the declining ad revenue for newspapers as ‘proof’ that they are dying.