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uSocial Sells Twitter Followers By the Thousand

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the how-to-know-when-you've-jumped-the-shark dept.

The Internet 118

bfire writes to tell us that marketing firm uSocial has decided to apply a new monetization scheme to the Twitter service by providing packages of followers for purchase. "According to the firm, a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 a month. It is selling followers in various packages, starting at 1,000 for $87, which is delivered in seven days, and going all the way up to 100,000 followers at a cost of $3,479, delivered over a year." This is just the latest in a number of different exploits and problems of the Twitter universe as individuals try to subvert a popular tool into a self-serving device.

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118 comments

What is this twitter btw? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28591841)

What is actually this twitter thing?

Re:What is this twitter btw? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28591983)

Twitter guide [nimp.org]

Re:What is this twitter btw? (1)

SanguineV (1197225) | about 5 years ago | (#28592605)

A good (and amusing) summary can be found here [youtube.com] .

Re:What is this twitter btw? (2, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 5 years ago | (#28592911)

At least someone said it to the masses. The 'A-List' twits are Narcissistic to the core. I'll admit that in some very specific circumstances, it could be a useful tool, but only in the fact that it mimics a crippled IM client. I'm talking about live blogging/chat sessions about breaking news and such. In all other cases, it's pretty much a total waste of time and energy not to put too fine a point on it. These folks are either desperate for recognition of any sort, or they simply live such boring lives that they need to gain followers to validate their mundane existence.

What shocked me is that some of my friends actually wanted me to join twitter. Yeah, I'm a techie geek with the best of them, but I really see no need to known that someone's toilet paper is too abrasive, or that the traffic driving home sucks. Are people's lives really so empty that they need to feel 'followed' for validation?

Re:What is this twitter btw? (2, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | about 5 years ago | (#28593115)

Are any of your friends ones that you don't see regularly? Maybe they just simply want to keep up with you.

Re:What is this twitter btw? (2, Interesting)

dave1791 (315728) | about 5 years ago | (#28594071)

For that, things like Facebook are better; not for technical, but cultural reasons. On FB, people tend to give fewer â" but more weighty - updates than on twitter. This means that the 70 or so friends and family I'm tracking are not spamming that they are now having a cup of coffee and now eating lunch and now taking a dump. Whenever some twit starts feeding his twittering into FB and spamming all over the place, I filter him out.

Re:What is this twitter btw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28594611)

I think those were the earlier days of twitter. There is a trend towards more useful tweets. People will start to "unfollow" you if you micro-blog to such extent.

Re:What is this twitter btw? (3, Insightful)

$1uck (710826) | about 5 years ago | (#28593355)

I don't know about you I'm interested in knowing if the traffic sucks. Maybe I can find a different way home. I'm interested to know when my friends from out of town/out of state are coming to town. Posting to twitter is a lot easier than emailing/im'ing twenty different people. It also means when you post something it's going out to only those people who actually are interested in seeing it. I think your thoughts about why other people use twitter is more telling about you as a person than anything else really. Why do you need to disparage the tools of others? what kind of person needs that sort of validation?

Re:What is this twitter btw? (2, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 5 years ago | (#28593655)

Do you really need to tell 20 people that traffic sucks? I can't think of a single person that woudl find that relevant unless an accident happened right outside of the work parking lot. How many drive the exact same way home as you? In addition, if I'm that interested in traffic, I just look at the GPS.

As to your travel plans, if they were good friends, they would either know you were going out of town, or if they were coming in to town they would actually pick up the phone and call you. I can't think of a single time when a friend was visiting and I didn't know weeks in advance due to a phone call. What kind of friend would just drop a tweet to you while in town on the off chance you might see it? They would pick up the phone and call.

Re:What is this twitter btw? (1)

greentshirt (1308037) | about 5 years ago | (#28596607)

It's interesting that you are so angry about this. If it is something that others (by the millions) find useful or entertaining why does it bother you so?

Et Tu Youtube (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 years ago | (#28595779)

This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions.

And I thought only Hulu were anal about copyright restrictions.

Re:What is this twitter btw? (3, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#28592921)

He's a long-standing Slashdot troll, known for rabidly anti-MS (always spelt M$) posts and operating a dozen or so sockpuppet accounts. Apparently there's some social networking / microblogging thingy named after him too.

Harvard confirms twitter is dying ... (-1, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | about 5 years ago | (#28592927)

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/146975,just-a-few-on-twitter-do-all-the-tweeting---study.aspx [itnews.com.au]

The Harvard study examined public entries of a randomly selected group of 300,000 Twitter users. The researchers studied in May the content created in the lifetime of the users' Twitter accounts.

It found that 10 percent of Twitter users generated more than 90 percent of the content, said Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, who led the research.

More than half of all Twitter users post messages on the site less than once every 74 days.

The median number of lifetime "tweets" per user is just one, according the research.

Twitter gets a lot of hype, but aside from everyone who's doing it in an attempt to cash in one way or another, nothing to see there ...

Harvard also confirms twitter is gay ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 5 years ago | (#28592951)

From the same report: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/146975,just-a-few-on-twitter-do-all-the-tweeting---study.aspx [itnews.com.au]

Unlike other social networking sites like Facebook.com, men are almost twice as likely to follow other men on Twitter than they were to follow women, according to the study.

It doesn't mention mac usage ...

Re:Harvard also confirms twitter is gay ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28593369)

omg. twitter made me a gay :(

Re:What is this twitter btw? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 5 years ago | (#28593025)

What is actually this twitter thing?

From the name I would guess that it's a social site for twits.

First Tweet!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28591853)

:D

Interesting business stratagy (4, Interesting)

lee1026 (876806) | about 5 years ago | (#28591857)

Essentially, what they do is they recommend people to subscribe to certain feeds, and then charges the feeds for it. Not entirely a bad idea. What is unknown here is how in the world they actually plan to get people to actually subscribe to those feeds. In the worst case, they have a bunch of sock puppet accounts.

Re:Interesting business stratagy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592037)

One day those sock puppet accounts will become self aware. We'd all be in mortal peril, except they'll be stymied by somehow stumbling across craigslist personals, and a mobius of spam will cause the system to be erased from the timeline.

Re:Interesting business stratagy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28593171)

One day those sock puppet accounts will become self aware.

It's already happened [slashdot.org] .

Re:Interesting business stratagy[sic] (0, Troll)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 5 years ago | (#28592045)

they recommend people to subscribe to certain feeds, and then charges the feeds for it. Not entirely a bad idea.

If it serves to hasten the demise of Twitter, it's a great idea. Maybe the sheeple can go find something more worthwhile to do than go "Baaaa! Baaa!" at each other instead. But I guess it would be stupid to underestimate the inanity of people in large numbers...

Re:Interesting business stratagy[sic] (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592237)

for example, the thousands of people who flock to any forum they can find in order to use a term they read on some other forum or heard on the radio and thought was oh-so-clever.

Re:Interesting business stratagy[sic] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592345)

sheeple=Sheep/human(people)=Apple fan-boys many twitter users are not sheeple.

Re:Interesting business stratagy[sic] (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 5 years ago | (#28592519)

This is going to surprise the hell out of you, but that term existing long before Apple became 'cool'. Hell, it probably existed before Apple did.

Re:Interesting business stratagy (1, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | about 5 years ago | (#28592063)

Do they also sell gmail invites? I think I have a few of those under the mattress.

Re:Interesting business stratagy (1)

Punto (100573) | about 5 years ago | (#28592729)

how in the world they actually plan to get people to actually subscribe to those feeds

by sharing some of that $.1 they charge with them?

Re:Interesting business stratagy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28593461)

so thats where twitter went!

Re:Interesting business stratagy (3, Funny)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 5 years ago | (#28593885)

What I don't get is who came up with this metric that a Twitter follower is worth 10 cents. I just don't believe it.

Re:Interesting business stratagy (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | about 5 years ago | (#28594327)

Furthermore, where's MY ten cents?

Re:Interesting business stratagy (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 5 years ago | (#28594429)

that too

So what? (5, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | about 5 years ago | (#28591889)

The service that uSocial are offering is neither an exploit nor a problem. They're not spamming anyone - they're just letting people have access to a pool of people open to "following back" and taking a fee. It's a total waste of money buying in because the sort of people who'll follow everyone and care about the number of followers they have are generally idiots, but it's not really anything to worry about.

Re:So what? (1)

patro (104336) | about 5 years ago | (#28592083)

It's a total waste of money buying in

There are lots of narcistic people in the world and they may pay for all those fans who follow their precious self.

Re:So what? (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | about 5 years ago | (#28593253)

... because nothing says "loser" so much as "I'll pay you to be my friend."

The median twitter user [itnews.com.au] makes one post, then abandons the account.

Re:So what? (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 5 years ago | (#28594833)

That's not showing the entire story. Just like the 90-9-1 rule, most people using Twitter are reading others, you don't need to even make that first post to accomplish that, but most typically try anyway as the sign-up process walks you through it.

What they don't realize is you don't need to make an account to read either. Many of my friends follow me via email and RSS instead of via their own Twitter account. And of those with Twitter accounts, most don't update daily, but only when they have something interesting going on.

There was another article about how many people don't "return" to Twitter--not realizing many use it via their phones/SMS, 3rd party apps, etc.

Think of Twitter more like SMS, it's a service which works with multiple tools that people can use for communication in whatever way they want. Just like everywhere else, more read than write.

Re:So what? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 5 years ago | (#28596455)

The median twitter user [itnews.com.au] makes one post, then abandons the account.

I did that on purpose. [twitter.com]

Re:So what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592151)

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.
Barbara
Review of the cabbage soup diet [themastercleanse.org]

Re:So what? (3, Interesting)

nem75 (952737) | about 5 years ago | (#28592165)

It's a total waste of money buying in because the sort of people who'll follow everyone and care about the number of followers they have are generally idiots

So is it really a waste then? Presuming that someone who pays to get followers is trying to sell something in turn, this might not be such a waste. Sure, the followers would be idiots. And fool ... money ... soon to part - I guess you see what I'm getting at.

Re:So what? (3, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | about 5 years ago | (#28592207)

It's a problem because it will be used for search engine spamming, with the result that free speech such as we're seeing out of Iran that makes use of Twitter to spread itself gets lowered search rankings by association when the search engines react to the new source of spam.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

whyloginwhysubscribe (993688) | about 5 years ago | (#28592859)

All links on twitter are marked "nofollow" anyway - so I don't think that makes it a problem for search engines...

I think that the problem is related to the weight of validity you associate with what someone says, and how many people are following them. If someone has lots of followers, it seems like a good indication that they are worth listening to - but it doesn't take much reading to work out whether this is the case or not... and I guess usually on twitter it is not!

Re:So what? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 years ago | (#28592367)

Doesn't matter if anyone is an idiot or not. They're making money.

Re:So what? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 5 years ago | (#28593397)

But then they can afford a bigger car. Then there will be another idiot on the road in a big car, and it will matter to the rest of us.

Re:So what? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 5 years ago | (#28592553)

I'm as worried about this uSocial crap destroying Twitter as I am someone running over Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps. In fact, I'd view it as equally good news should any of those things happen.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28594293)

I'm as worried about this uSocial crap destroying Twitter as I am someone running over Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps. In fact, I'd view it as equally good news should any of those things happen.

What a coincidence - I was just speaking with Pat and God and they said the same thing about you. They did agree that if Phelps slipped under a bus, they wouldn't be too upset.

Re:So what? (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 5 years ago | (#28594499)

Idiots with money. Isn't it what it's all about? The point is getting people to buy what you tweet about. Having enough followers can be worth money. So with enough followers your tweet can go something like "gee, I'm stuck in LA traffic again. But my new Lexus makes it so much more pleasant." Lexus get also the tweet and sends you $5.00 for the publicity.

Hurray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28591895)

was rather hoping for this fad to die

The true price! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28591905)

SO now we know what the current price of a twit is!

10 cents a month.

Re:The true price! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28594229)

Hell, I'd do it, if I had some company tell me that all I had to do was get a twitter account or ten and follow who they said to follow and stop following those they said with those dummy account and I would get $0.05 per account per leader. I would do it.

I don't even use twitter at all.

uSocial and Twitter (-1, Redundant)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 years ago | (#28591937)

uDie already... please

What good is it... (1)

JerryP (309597) | about 5 years ago | (#28591997)

...to have a thousand chinese goldfarmers following my tweets?

I can see someone paying money to have followers in a certain target demographics, but only buying followers from the internet at large does not seem to make sense...

Narcissism (1)

bebemochi (772144) | about 5 years ago | (#28593041)

There are people who like to say "I have A THOUSAND followers!!" much like Dr. Evil thought he was oh-so-impressive demanding "one MILLION dollars!!". On the surface it sounds good to have so many followers, and these sorts of people are probably boasting to non-twitterers (non-twits?) who won't know any better. Kind of like how some bloggers cite the number of hits they get -- not the number of unique visitors. Ego inflation pure and simple. Been around since the dawn of humanity ("hurrr me have bigger stick!!!") and will likely be around until its sunset.

what's use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592017)

if followed by a huge number of ppl who don't really care much about u, just ignore ur tweets, what's use for the money?

okay (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 5 years ago | (#28592021)

so who's the tool and what's the device?

And Then.. (2, Interesting)

upto0013 (1144677) | about 5 years ago | (#28592055)

And then, Candi Nipson the Twitter porn spammer has 100,000 followers.

yFollow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592087)

uSocial?

iWon't.

Burma Shave!

Ummm... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28592117)

I don't get it, is that like paying people to be your friend?

Re:Ummm... (2, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 5 years ago | (#28592277)

It sounds like it's closer to paying people to be your groupie, since it's not an equal peer-peer relationship.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 5 years ago | (#28593007)

Whatever, my Twitter account is pretty bare now. I'll take 10 cents a month to follow (and ignore) people.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592319)

No no no, it's like paying people to pretend to be your pretend friend.

Re:Ummm... (1)

feepness (543479) | about 5 years ago | (#28592339)

I don't get it, is that like paying people to be your friend?

Yeah, but the fraternity system is already saturated...

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592543)

No, more like paying someone else to get some idiot who doesn't see a cent to become your friend.

Wait, that sounds a lot like a dating service....

Re:Ummm... (2, Funny)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | about 5 years ago | (#28592561)

A dating service for imaginary friends! How... fucked up actualy.

Re:Ummm... (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#28592733)

Because if you square them they become enemies.

How will it continue? (5, Funny)

tokyoahead (743189) | about 5 years ago | (#28592121)

1. All nerds try to compensate their lack of FB friends by buying fake twitter followers. FB is deserted and closes down.
2. uSocial tries to save money & starts to sell all followers to several customers.
3. uSocial has to create 50 million fake followers since Kim Jong Il wants that many, but the North Koreans have only 5 PCs.
4. All the aforementioned outcasts get investigated by the NSA for their connection to Kim Jong Il, and get send to Gitmo as long as it's still open.
5. The US collapses because of the lack of IT personnel and a not properly disinfected telephone.
6. Castro takes over Gitmo and makes it the worlds most secure & cheap IT call center.
7. India collapses too, because of unemployment.
8. China buys India & the US.
Better start learning Mandarin!

Re:How will it continue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592867)

Quick scanning this thread, and when you just read your first and last comment, it made me laugh:

1. All nerds try to compensate their lack of FB friends by buying fake twitter followers. FB is deserted and closes down
2-7: ???
8. China buys India & the US.

Barbara (-1, Offtopic)

barbara789 (1592003) | about 5 years ago | (#28592167)

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post. Barbara Review of the cabbage soup diet [themastercleanse.org]

Re:Barbara (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592279)

someone with karma burry the parent spam post, please

Re:Barbara (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592331)

Why waste mod points on attention spam and trolls when you can use them to promote good posts?

Already get followers that I don't know (5, Interesting)

sl149q (1537343) | about 5 years ago | (#28592247)

I don't use twitter but signed up just to reserve my name... What is interesting is that I get one or two "followers" a week, and they are people who I have never heard of. And I suspect that would really have no particular reason to follow my (non-existent) tweets... It could just be accidental but it seems like too many for that.

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (5, Interesting)

qreeves (1363277) | about 5 years ago | (#28592337)

Check their Twits; you'll find more often than not that they're spammers. Some people are just so glad to have a follower they don't realise it.

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (2, Interesting)

severoon (536737) | about 5 years ago | (#28595365)

Are you serious? "Check their Twits"?

Tweets, people. Tweets!

You use twitter to tweet. You are a twitterer or Twitter user. You tweet. Tweeting is what twitterers do. "Twit" is someone who doesn't get this.

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592357)

I don't use twitter but signed up just to reserve my name...

Damnit... *I* wanted to register sl149q!

You wouldn't consider selling it..?

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592567)

That's what we call 'twalkers'...lock your door!

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (1)

tokyoahead (743189) | about 5 years ago | (#28592609)

They are trend scouts.
They follow everyone who does not tweet at all.
They want to be there while you are a twitter-nobody.
And then, when you are famous, they can claim "I followed him before his first tweet already!"

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (2, Funny)

Punto (100573) | about 5 years ago | (#28592757)

I find your ideas intriguing and would like you follow you on twitter.

Re:Already get followers that I don't know (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 5 years ago | (#28594277)

I use a twitter account to provide updates about the game I run. It's superhero themed, but because it has the word "Twilight" in the name (with the implication you've got a day job and go out at dusk to fight crime), I get a couple of people a day with accounts that are named "Cullen." No amount of saying "this is a superhero game" or "there are no vampires here" seems to dissuade them.

a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28592353)

According to the firm, a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 a month.

Dead or alive?

Re:a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 5 years ago | (#28592447)

Unfortunately there aren't enough requests for the dead ones, so they're all still alive :\

Re:a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 (2)

Exitar (809068) | about 5 years ago | (#28592717)

What's the difference?

Re:a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28593083)

The smell; given enough time, dead ones completely decompose.

Re:a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 (1)

pbhj (607776) | about 5 years ago | (#28594173)

According to the firm, a single Twitter follower could be worth $0.10 a month.

Dead or alive?

What's the difference?

You get less spam from the dead ones.

Ugh (1)

B33RM17 (1243330) | about 5 years ago | (#28592355)

Im sick of twitter and constantly hearing about it cuz its the latest craze or "in" thing...

I just shudder to think what the next big "social networking experiment" (read as internet craze shit out by idiots whose ideas, while on paper, seem innocent and ambicious, end up causing shit storm sheeple fuck-fests) will be...

what a waste of server space...

Re:Ugh (3, Funny)

Allicorn (175921) | about 5 years ago | (#28592629)

Well, lets figure it out right here and now eh?

First, take a perfectly basic function of some Internet feature or other that is already available to everyone without there being any need for your proposed service to exist. Lets think... here's one: web pages can have various colors on them! Now dilute that feature right down to just the barest, minimal, infinitesimally useful level... a web page that is just a blank space of a user configurable color. Crippling this basic functionality that folks had access to already makes your service seem edgy, sleek and modern! Giving our default color palette some snappy names like "emo purple" or "douchey green" will make users feel like there's a new cultural or linguistic fad here to get stuck into.

Slap on a "friends" feature to give it a little of that social networking pizazz and add a nonsense-word domain name of the type that you might overhear on an episode of The Tellytubbies, lets say, "flibubu" and you've got yourself a vehicle capable of launching a whole new 6-month-long Internet fad!

And there you have it. What a time to be alive!

Re:Ugh (1)

jaraxle (1707) | about 5 years ago | (#28593723)

I think I will follow you on Twitter so I can make sure I get updated on the progress of this ground breaking idea of yours.

Or perhaps I will just go and Bing Flibubu...

~jaraxle

Re:Ugh (1)

Allicorn (175921) | about 5 years ago | (#28594271)

The scary thing - of course - is with the right marketing you could probably even do it and have some degree of success.

"Just as we were all starting to realise the empty, futility of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace - here comes 'Flibubu' - the new bright, sassy, color-based nano-blogging service that's got the whole Internet buzzing all over again!", Wired.com - sometime late in 2009.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28594441)

I've already friended you on flibubu.

Twitter Users Can Now Buy Followers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592371)

BBC reports that uSocial, a social media marketing company based in Australia, has launched a paid service to find followers for Twitter users for a fee of $87 for a block of 1,000 [bbc.co.uk] . The company finds potential followers by searching through Twitter to discover areas of common interest to match people more closely. uSocial then send these potential followers a message, alerting them that there is someone on Twitter they might want to follow and the potential follower then decides whether or not to follow that person. "A woman who runs yoga classes is one of our clients," says Leon Hill, chief executive of uSocial,. "So are some religious organizations including one man that just wants to get the word out about God. Twitter started as a way for just friends to keep in touch, but as with any social media site once they get big, every business or marketer jumps on the bandwagon. It's an excellent marketing medium [usocial.net] ." Some commentators have expressed concerns that this sort of practice could lead to an increase in "Twitter spam", as users are bombarded with irrelevant tweets. "As a Twitter user, I only want to follow people whose tweets I like, and only expect to be followed by people who find my tweets worth the time [telegraph.co.uk] ," writes Harry McCracken, a technology expert. "I know that I'd rather have fifty engaged followers than 5,000 whose attention I had to pay for."

i know a guy that will follow you (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28592375)

Heck, I know a guy that will follow you for free! Sure, he peeps in though your windows at night and for the most part he's harmless.

Why? (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | about 5 years ago | (#28592633)

I finally gave in and made a twitter account last week, and I already have four followers, none of whom are people I know online or off. Seems to me you get enough random followers no matter WHAT you do. ;o

Re:Why? (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | about 5 years ago | (#28592857)

I think you are given some random people to follow when you join, not sure why. Most of my random followers seem to be spam, but there are some real people in there.

Re:Why? (1)

dave1791 (315728) | about 5 years ago | (#28594259)

I made one last year. At the time, I was following the Silicon Valley VC bloggers because I was thinking of founding a startup. Those people would not shut up about twitter, so I checked it out. After my median one tweet (and deciding that the whole VC scene is about navel gazing), I never logged in again and I'm not even sure what my password is anymore.

But I still get emails about once a week that XYZ is now following me.

Great article (2, Funny)

roesti (531884) | about 5 years ago | (#28592755)

Great article. Totally tweeting this.

Re:Great article (1)

The employee can cho (857896) | about 5 years ago | (#28595545)

RT: Great article. Totally tweeting this.

Not surprised (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 5 years ago | (#28592833)

When you manage to gather enough gullible people together in one service, it's inevitable that they are going to be exploited. What, after all, is even the point of twitter if you weren't going to somehow make money off its users?

The twitter audience is ripe for exploitation: not overly bright, slaves to peer pressure, naive, shallow, celebutard-obsessed, narcissistic and self-obsessed. That's pure gold, right there.

It was only a question of time before someone started farming those sheeple.

Spam Traps (1)

MarcLeeT (1591255) | about 5 years ago | (#28593079)

The only solution I thought of was to have spam traps in place over twitter. If they keep using buzzwords then they can catch the amount of spam and other rubbish that keeps following people. Marketers are OK but the amount of other rubbish is mortifying. Hopefully they already have something like this in place?

Re:Spam Traps (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 5 years ago | (#28595031)

They do, and you can easily report spam [twitter.com] .

If you look for the profiles of some of the random followers people have mentioned here, often they are gone, having already been removed from the system.

They are also ridiculously easy to spot, like this one today:

chaoticPri73400
Beth Agrell
hi£ÂMy friends! I recommends a website which can reduce your electric bill by 80%. URL REMOVED It's 7:38 am 6 days ago

"She" is following 1,603 people and has nearly none following "her", never mind her sexy picture.

Twitter Followers/Sockpuppets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28593983)

" uSocial Sells Twitter Followers By the Thousand"

Its confirmed Twitter [slashdot.org] has thousands of sockpuppet accounts? Is usocial going to update the sock disclosure [slashdot.org] list?

Eighth Grade Math? (1)

nileshp88 (1521223) | about 5 years ago | (#28594503)

Maybe its just me, but the odds they gave are wrong. with 20,000 entries, and 10 laptops, the odds would be 1 in 20,000 of winning. not 1 in 200,000 as the article states.
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