Twitter Drops The Hammer And The Impact Is Significant.

Twitter drops the hammer on several prevalent practices, forcing significant changes in the tools and strategies that have been used to share Tweets. In this post, I am addressing what either has or is about to change, forcing anyone that uses Twitter to adjust.

This past February 2018 Twitter announced that they will be rolling out a few policy changes meant to prevent the types of behaviors that hurt the overall user experience. What types of behaviors are those?

This means cracking down on bots, so users don’t have to contend with so many fraudulent accounts in their timelines and mentions.

Another part has meant placing some new limitations on what users can do using schedulers and automation tools – so if you’ve ever scheduled a Tweet, this is something you want to know about!

Let’s take a look at what is changing in the Twitter Terms of Service (TOS) and then consider how it might impact you and the tools you are currently using.

Twitter recently announced to its API partners a change in behavior that will affect some Twitter features currently in many of the most popular sharing tools like GaggleAmp, Triberr, DLVR.it and many more. Due to these changes, no Twitter API partner will be able to have applications that automate the bulk sharing of the same Tweet. This is scheduled to go into effect on March, 16th.

No more sharing of the same tweet across multiple accounts. Twitter has made it clear to tool creators: “your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control from which to publish a given Tweet.”  

In the past, some tools have given users the option of performing a single type of action, like retweeting or following, from multiple accounts. That is coming to an end with this directive from Twitter – “Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously perform actions such as Likes, Retweets, or follows from multiple accounts.”

And here is the one that will impact the largest number of users- scheduling and automating individual tweets.  From Twitter: “You may not post duplicative or substantially similar Tweets on one account or over multiple accounts you operate.”  This applies to many Twitter users – no longer will you be allowed to “post duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account, or create duplicate or substantially similar accounts.”

I use tools to share others tweets. I use tools to schedule and share some of my cornerstone content to go out as Tweets on a regular basis, some as long as a year in advance.

Here is an example:

A group of people (let’s say 50) in a specific niche or industry and automatically feed every one of their blog posts into the tool via an RSS feed. Group members set their account to send all the posts that come into the ‘pool’ from these 49 other people out as a Tweet. Have you ever noticed a batch of tweets all saying the exact same thing? That is probably what is going on. All of this is automated, and each user has the option to set the tweets to go out automatically, or after a click to approve each post being sent. Some people write a blog post every few weeks, some every day or even several posts in a day. Imagine the volume of “shares” that are being generated on Twitter by this practice. Imagine the impact if there are 200 or 2,000 or more in one of these groups. There are “tweetdeckers” that have created groups of people in the tens of thousands, driving share counts up and in some cases creating social media ‘stars’ for their members.

These changes are only for Twitter. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and the others are all looking at how to get these practices under control.

I was talking with a colleague and wondered how some of these “ranking services” that post “Top ???????? Experts on a topic are going to be affected. They primarily measure Tweet shares, and some other social sharing as well. It will be interesting to watch entire boards of “experts” be completely wiped out and new names appear.

What about services like Klout or Kred? They will be affected as well.

If you want to learn more about these changes directly from Twitter – CLICK HERE

Twitter is not going away – here are some of the key activities that you can still do on Twitter:

  • ReTweet a Tweet
  • Like a Tweet
  • Follow a Twitter user
  • Follow a Twitter List

It is important to remember that the core concept hasn’t changed – drive interest, engagement, and credibility by creating and sharing quality content. Now there will be a premium on the authenticity of the delivery of that content.

What do you think about these changes? What impact will it have on your use and view of Twitter moving forward? I welcome your comments below…and on Twitter.

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