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What is and isn’t spam on Twitter: Part 2
Now we’ve been through what constitutes spam on Twitter in What is and isn’t spam on Twitter: Part 1. In this post I’m going to cover some of the different types of activities on Twitter that may not officially be regarded as spam by Twitter, however some members of the Twitter community can see this behaviour as spam. Instead of calling it spam, we’ll call it 'Twitter Litter.’
What can be seen by some as spam or ‘Twitter litter’
Here are some of the different types of behaviour that some users may see as spammy, or at least unnecessary, meaningless activity on Twitter.
#FF new followers auto tweets
Some users may use third-party apps to set up automated tweets to send messages sucha as “#FF Thanks for following” and @ mention multiple users. This may not be seen as spam behaviour at all by some users, but it has diminished the real function of #FF Follow Friday, as it used to mainly be used to recommend people to follow with particular reasons or suggestions why someone would want to follow that recommendation to follow. How can you genuinely recommend your followers to follow a user who has only begun to follow you?
Thanks for following @ mentions or direct messages
Again this may not be seen as spammy behaviour at all by some, however the overuse and misuse of this type of function has meant it has become disliked by some users. These messages are usually set up to be automated by third-party apps, therefore little effort and thought has gone into the messages.
Duplicates of the same @replies
This behaviour can be seen as spammy and your account can be seen as inauthentic. If you search for tweets containing keywords related to your area of interest or a particular product you are trying to sell and you reply someone who mentions that product with exactly the same tweet, it can be seen as aggressive marketing. Users want to have conversations about brands and products without being bombarded by sales tweets.
Some people may not consider these actions as spam at all and find them perfectly acceptable, however I feel they have de-valued functions on Twitter people used to use approproately, such as Follow Friday and direct messages thanking for new followers. They’re looking for mass engagement rather than more quality engagement.
I hope that has helped clear up some of the differences between clear spamming activity and what may be seen as acceptable by some. There are always different opinions on the matter and different levels of tolerance so the guides will never been set in stone.
As Twitter says ‘What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers.’
In the next blog post in our series on spam we look at how to moderate and report spam on Twitter.