Recently I followed someone using this service – TrueTwit. Basically, when you get a new Twitter follower it sends out a Direct Message asking them to go fill in a CAPTCHA so they can tell whether your new follower is a real person or a bot. If your new follower passes the test then you get an email saying they’re not a spammer.
As a user, I find this pretty rude. Following an account on Twitter is essentially you singing up to receive their updates – it’s you telling them, “I’m interested in what you’ve got to say, I want to read your news”. For them to then turn around and say, “Well, we think you’re a spammer, complete this test” right off the bat is a pretty cheeky first impression to give fans/potential clients.
How big of a problem is having spam followers in the first place? Let’s not forget that this service sends a DM when they follow you (effectively doing no harm), not when they tweet at you. It’s not going to eliminate unsolicited spam tweets, therefore I don’t really see it as adding enough value to outweigh the drawbacks.
Does it really matter if you have higher follower numbers than is 100% accurate? If you’re looking at metrics, then yes, it matters a little – it means your numbers will be off by a fraction. Welcome to life. However, most of the social media metrics aimed at follower numbers are geared towards “Higher number = better” so surely having more followers is a good thing anyway?
On the TrueTwit website they point out that the tool helps you “save time managing followers”. If you are going through and deleting followers then I can assure you that is time which would be better spent doing something more productive – just leave them! The top twitter accounts are definitely not doing this – and you don’t have to either.
Accusing genuine users of being spammers and making them jump through hoops to get your updates for the sake of weeding out a few spam accounts is a downright terrible idea and I can imagine leads to a lot of people unfollowing (I certainly did).
TrueTwit evidently weren’t too chuffed with my post and, in another great display of ‘how not to do social media’, have blocked me for it.
I did a quick search and it turns out this is standard practice for them – true professionals.
More blog posts about TrueTwit from around the web:
The Truth About TrueTwit Validation – Inbounderish
How TrueTwit Helps You Help It Make Money – And Waste A Ton Of Time – Adweek
Stop using TrueTwit to stop being used by TrueTwit to make money for TrueTwit – Examiner
Why TrueTwit Doesn’t Work for Me – Confluence Media
Why I started @StopTrueTwit – by @Spacefem on Medium