James Mayes

Blog: TrueTwit – am I missing something?

In Social Media, Twitter, Twitter Tips on January 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

I’ve noticed more people using the TrueTwit service recently to validate new followers.  I try to keep on top of new Twitter tools and occasionally blog reviews on those I really like.  This one however, isn’t for me.  Having been asked to explain what I dislike on a few occasions now (thanks @NaturalGrump for the most recent prod!) a post seemed the best way.

For me, Twitter’s about the conversation.  It’s about finding new people I can learn from, it’s about sparring with professional peers and it’s about helping our customers get the best from it for their needs.  I’ve not signed up to TrueTwit, so this isn’t a review in the normal sense – it’s more an indication of why I won’t.

True Twit is there to ensure you’re only being followed by real people. When I follow someone using the service, I get an auto-DM coming back asking me to visit the website and verify I’m not a spam robot, before it notifies the individual that I’m following them.

So why don’t I like it?  Firstly, there’s that auto-DM. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I hate auto-DM’s of any kind. Just because I’ve chosen to listen to what you’ve got to say, doesn’t give you the right to spam me. You send me an auto-DM, I see it in my Twitterstream, I get a text, I get an email.  That’s a lot of noise I just don’t need and if you think I want to encourage it, you’re mistaken. If I get a DM, I want it to be for a good reason.

Secondly, I don’t get that many spam robots. I tweet a fair amount, I have a fair number of followers, I’ve been on Twitter a while.  I get more spam noise from TrueTwit DM’s than I do from bots, so guess which one annoys me more.

Finally – why do you care if a bot follows you?  If someone real chooses to engage and start talking, then great – you probably said or did something interesting in the first place to make that happen. If you’re followed by a bot and it sits quietly in the background (and then probably unfollows again shortly after because you didn’t reciprocate) it really doesn’t cause that much bother. The bots that really bug me are the ones that @mention me because of auto-word recognition and TrueTwit doesn’t prevent that.

So back to the title of this one – have I missed something here – or are TrueTwit users just unlucky with the amount of bot follows they pick up?

  1. I agree James. I like to think I am intelligent enough to know when someone is genuine or a ‘bot’. Indeed I have certain criteria for following back and I’m quick to block new followers whose opening gambit is “yo, make $$$ here’ or ‘I can help you with debt, depression and body building’ blah blah blah, also people whose ratio of followers to following is particularly skewed are quickly despatched. A lot of followers seem to be generated automatically. i.e. mention the word dog and suddenly you have a pet shop in Australia following you. Bizarre, but true. In those instances I can’t be arsed to block them. they’ll soon stop following when I never talk about pets!

  2. James you hit the nail on the head. When I first started to use Twitter I decided to use TrueTwit and after 2 weeks realised how annoying it was. I should have realised sooner…

    • Good to hear it’s not just me. On a related note, if people do want to control who follows them, there’s always the Protected Tweets option. Much less irritating to others but, I think, delivers much the same benefit.

      • No, not the protected tweets! That really annoys me, particularly when someone follows me and I think ‘be courteous, follow them back’ and the bugger’s have got protected tweets on there! Why try and connect with me if it’s a one way street? I’m not going to send a begging message asking if it would be OK to follow you!

  3. I rather foolishly started using a service that lets you know when someone stops following you. I find myself going through the list saying ‘bovvered, bovvered, bovvered…why the feck has he stopped following me, the miserable git!….bovvered, bovvered….WTF?’ I sometimes think we’re better off not knowing!

    • Haha – I’m guessing you mean the Qwitters app? I tried that very briefly when I first started playing with Twitter – you’r right, better not to know about the drop-outs and focus on those who are interested!

  4. I actually don’t mind the TrueTwit thing. I get why people are doing it, and it doesn’t bother me so much. Equally I don’t really mind the auto-DMs. I agree that they do clog up various notifications, and I don’t see the point in doing it myself, but I don’t see it as such an inconvenience that it means I’ll unfollow.

    I think you’re probably right though, those that use it are probably receiving more spam than others. Either that, or they’re just being pre-emptive.

    Thanks for clearing up though as I was curious 🙂

    • No worries – I’ve moaned about it before and people have asked me why I dislike it. Kept meaning to blog and you made it happen – so thank you!

  5. I’m with you James. Any time I find myself being dragged to the True Twit site I ask myself “Just who does this person think they are? They’ve followed me – with no validation required – yet they now want me to prove I’m a real person?”

    Not only do I choose not to validate myself – I then go block the person.

    It bugs me for several reasons….


  6. James, nail on head and all that. Auto DMs drive me nuts and, if ever I get the truetwit thing, it’s an automatic unfollow for me. In my view, it completely goes against ‘being social’ which is why I thought we were all here in the first place. Good to see someone else equally perplexed!

  7. TrueTwit = Don’t follow. Don’t make it hard for me to follow you, there are too many other interesting people to follow instead. I will not bother as truetwit wants access to my details. If you don’t like somone once they are a follower, drop them.
    I also follow a few bots including YOURS – socRecFeed.
    Forget trueTwit

    • Cheers Bill, appreciate the comment. For reference, the @SocRecFeed bot doesn’t follow anyone. It’s there as a social recruiting news feed for me, not to bug anyone or generate interest in me or my business. Course, if people do find it useful, I’m very happy for them to follow and I’m sure that does me no harm!

  8. I agree, these automated nanny apps annoy me no end. It says to me that this person can’t be bothered to check me out themselves, although I don’t suppose those who use it intend to give that impression. I put it in the same category as those auto emails that say “Hi! Fred is protecting his inbox from spam. Please click on the following link to prove you are a real person and we’ll let your message through.” Nothing like being patronised by an auto-responder.

  9. […] read a great blog post about TrueTwit. It essentially answered my […]

  10. This app is soo annoying and stupid. Anyone that send this direct message to me I automatically unfollow

  11. Great point “I get more spam noise from TrueTwit DM’s than I do from bots, so guess which one annoys me more.” I’ve had some people who use the service complain that they get more spam @mentions if they turn TrueTwit off. Not sure why, any ideas?

  12. Hmm. No idea at all – though I do see spam @mentions go in waves, so it could just be coincidental!

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