Posts Tagged ‘direct messages’

SocialToo is shutting down their auto-DM feature and yay! Happiness!

March 2nd, 2009

SocialToo has made an important announcement: They are no turning off their feature which allows users to send auto-DMs. This makes me extremely happy. On my primary Twitter account, I’m extremely picky about who I follow and follow back so I can avoid unwanted DMs and so I can maintain relationships I have on Twitter. I love DMs when they can be used like text messages and I get them on my phone. It is really handy as I don’t have a web browsing phone.

Because of that, if you send me a spam like DM, I pretty much will unfollow you. (If you want to thank me for the follow and point out your nifty link to your site that you think I should check out, put it out on your public timeline.) So turning off that ability is something I applaud.

Over on SocialToo’s blog entry on their change, a few people have suggested that this is bad news! It will cost SocialToo users and some of the messages being sent are legitimate. A few people have also asked how a DM that says “Thanks for the follow!” is considered spam. I don’t know how to answer them really other than to explain other two ways.  First,  it feels like spam because you’re not considering the recipient (Is this DM worth $0.10 in text messaging fees? Would a public message be just as effective? Is this personal and will I reply back to their message?) and if they might find that useful.

The other way I can explain that these auto-DMs are probably spam like involves a game of show and tell. Over on Twitter, I have an account to inform people about updates on Fan History. It has about 2,500 followers. With a rare exception, it does not send DMs and does not answer DMs. It has a lot of people who follow it trying to get autofollowers which we comply with. With that background info in mind, let me show you the DMs we get, DMs which we suspect are mostly auto-DMs. (And I haven’t read because the account content should pretty much indicate that we’re not going to respond.)

These type of messages go on for another 23 pages. Other people have problems with this behavior. See:

  • Chris Brogan: Social Media is No Place for Robot Behavior
  • Loic Le Meur: Twitter Robots Killed Me (And Why I Apologize I May Not Be Following You Anymore)
  • Canonical URL by SEO No Duplicate WordPress Plugin