Thursday, March 18, 2010

Twitter is getting turned out

I have always felt that the pace of technology adoption is increasing, and that the increase has also meant that new technology gets adopted and therefore ruined by spammers quickly.

Take Twitter, it's really only been around since 2007 (even though it was developed sooner) and you could even argue that it really only took off in 2009.   Facebook has been around much longer and has been hugely popular since 2007.

I have been on Twitter since 2008 but have noticed in the last year an increase in the amount of spammer-like activity.  For the record, I consider spammer-like activity things such as using mentions to get marketing messages seen, the use of bots to automate activity and follow requests for the purpose of marketing goods.

Listening to Inside PR today and they quoted some research from Barracuda Labs that says:

Barracuda Labs also created a statistic called the Twitter Crime Rate, which it defined as the percentage of accounts created per month that are eventually suspended for malicious or suspicious activity, or otherwise misused. The Twitter Crime Rate was 1.2 percent in 2006, 1.7 percent in 2007, 2.2 percent in 2008, and 12 percent in October 2009.

This jumped right out at me because it appears as though the amount of spam increased sixfold over 2008... that's a pretty large increase.  And I suppose that you could argue that this is because there isn't much by way of tactics to really catch them... although Twitter did announce measures this week.

But there isn't much to really stop this behaviour before it gets caught in your Twitter stream, so I am concerned that the trend is going to continue and get even worse.

I wonder.. is Twitter going to jump the shark soon?  As much as I look at Twitter with skepticism and as much as I like it... something is telling me that Twitter could be in for some bumpy times ahead!

1 comment:

Jackson Wightman said...

First, I love the new header. You look like a modern version of Rodin's "The Thinker"

Second, great post. I love Twitter and spend way more time there than on other social networks.

That said, most of my real life friends are not there. It has become a place for PR/Marketing/Social media nerds to hang out and yell at one another. Sure, some companies are using it in great ways. I just think it is emblematic of the echo chamber. We use it at my firm - and well in my opinion - but under 10% of our end users are on there (compared to waaay more on FB) so it is of limited value.

I too heard the Inside PR podcast you link to. It's also staggering to see how many Twitter accounts get opened and then never or rarely used.

Microblogging is gonna be around for awhile but Twitter may go the way of the dodo bird in the next 1.5 - 2 yrs.