If you asked anyone who works in social media a few months ago what they thought of Twitter they would probably tell you that it's noisy, full of spam, has lots of bots and that as a result has no real engagement or benefit for many users. I can say I would of said the same, however adding that there is value in having an account and posting occasionally just to tick things over, and that it shouldn't be the main social media platform that you focus your attention on.
Last month Twitter made a major announcement on how users and apps can automate tweets, in order to combat spam and political propaganda bots. Twitter says that this is “an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting the crucial conversations taking place on Twitter — including elections in the United States and around the world.”
Instead of sending the same tweet from multiple accounts, users can now send one tweet and have multiple accounts retweet it, but they can’t use “bulk, aggressive, or very high-volume automated retweeting.” These changes coincide with what appears to be a significant attempt to purge bot accounts. The new rules are a pretty substantive change to the platform and they’ll have an effect on any app or company that cross-posts content to multiple accounts.
Developers (and users) are now banned from using any system that simultaneously posts identical or substantially similar tweets from multiple accounts at once, or makes actions like liking, retweeting, and following across multiple accounts at once.
Some key points:
- The ban on bulk tweeting applies regardless of whether you’re posting a bunch of duplicate tweets at once or scheduling them across a longer time period.
- Apps can still cross-post alerts from other services (like RSS readers) to Twitter, but only to a single account.
- Twitter will remove options not inline with the new rules from its own TweetDeck app, and third-party developers have until March 23rd to comply.
- There are a few exceptions to the new rules with weather, emergency, or
public service announcements of broad community interest being allowed.
So a fire warning for instance, could be posted across a lot of
accounts at once.
Twitter offers two guiding rules for the new changes:
- Posting duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts you control, or creating duplicate or substantially similar accounts, with or without the use of automation, is never allowed.
- Posting multiple updates (from any number of accounts) to a trending topic with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic, or to artificially inflate the prominence of a hashtag or topic will not be allowed.
As a user of Twitter with both business and personal accounts, I'm excited about this change, even more excited than I was when Twitter increased the character limit. I have already seen an increase in engagement on Twitter and look forward to seeing more social in this social media platform.
I personally use a combination of manual and automation (via Crowdfire) to engage with my Twitter account. I use Crowdfire to create and share content that I genuinely have an interest in and think others might find just as interesting. To follow me on Twitter my handle is @nictatt.
To read more about these changes to Twitter visit the Twitter Blog.