Our world has boiled down to one in which our deepest emotions and passing thoughts need to be expressed in 140 characters or not at all. The micro-blogging website Twitter has become immensely popular in a short amount of time, boasting 140 million users who sent out 340 million Tweets a day.
Twitter is finding out that with growing size, popularity, and global reach, comes a greater target on your back. There are users and companies developing programs to take advantage of the reach of Twitter through spamming services, and now Twitter has decided to fight back. In an effort to curtail spamming activities on Twitter, the company has filed suit against five companies responsible for producing and selling spamming software specifically designed for Twitter.
Technically speaking, Twitter is suing three companies and two individuals representing other companies. The three software programs under fire from Twitter are TweetAttacks (by JL4 Web Solutions), TweetAdder (by Skootle Corporation), and TweetBuddy. James Lucero and Garland Harris, of Justinlover.info and Troption.com respectively, are the two individuals included in the lawsuit.
Spamming on Twitter has become just as annoying and prevalent as junk email. Spamming on the micro-blogging social media site comes in a variety of manners, with the most common including constant tweets about winning a free iPad or how to make thousands of dollars working from home. Some of the software targeted in the Twitter lawsuit allows users to be more invasive with spamming.
TweetAdder allows users to automate a number of typical Twitter functions. With TweetAdder users can search for and retweet specific tweets based upon the presence of certain keywords. The software also allows users to follow other Twitter users based upon particular criteria. All of this can be done automatically by the software.
Much like TweetAdder, TweetBuddy allows users to automate a number of the actions available on Twitter. TweetBuddy promises to cut the time a user spends managing their account by 85% and tells users it can provide an increase in the income potential of their account by five times.
Among the crazier promises offered by these spamming services is the one offered by Justinlover.info. This spamming software promises users that it can help them get singer Justin Bieber as a follower on Twitter. The software allegedly helps users continually tweet Bieber in the moments after his status is updated, increasing the likelihood they can get his attention.
Regardless of the purpose of spamming software Twitter rightly views spamming for what it is, a potential danger to users. Instead of trying to target and punish some of the 140 million users who might use spamming software, Twitter is seeking to squash some of the activity by striking at the source. The social media giant hopes that in removing the tools from the hands of users, it can curtail spamming on its site. It is also hoping to use the lawsuit as a deterrent to those who might develop new products in the future.
In addition to the lawsuit, Twitter has undertaken a number of other steps in recent weeks to combat spamming on its micro-blogging service. Twitter recently acquired Dasient, an anti-malware company, which uses a link shortener to analyze whether or not links contained in tweets lead to malicious sites. Dasient’s work also allows Twitter users to more easily report and block spammers on the service.
Post contributed by Carla Gregson, on behalf of Hanapin Marketing – providers of results-driven, service-orientated PPC marketing.