Internet technology, mobile technology & startups

Is TrueTwit losing you followers?

Dead Bird

Image supplied by flickr.com/photos/flossyflotsam/

I love twitter, I think micro-blogging is a fantastic invention, and it has created a whole industry of software, experts and advisers around it. Fantastic! However, of all the tools created that help you manage your twitter account(s), I just do not see the point of TrueTwit – worse, I find it annoying!

For the uninitiated, TrueTwit is a validation tool you can sign-up to use to ensure that anyone following you on twitter is a real person. This is done using a popular technique called Captcha, where you are prompted to enter some words that are displayed obscurely, rendering them virtually impossible to be interpreted by anything other than a human. Only once you have done this correctly will you be able to follow a twitter user who is subscribed to TrueTwit.

I have a real issue with this, to the point where I have now become very selective about who I choose to follow that is subscribed to TrueTwit. I use the twitter app on my mobile a lot and when I try to follow a TrueTwit subscriber I’m redirected to my mobile web browser, and it just kind of all grinds to a halt. Unless I know I really need to follow that individual, at this point I just don’t bother.

Secondly, what exactly is the point of TrueTwit? Please enlighten me! Why should I care if anyone following me is a real person or not? After all, I do not get to see the twitter stream of my followers unless I choose to follow them back, and similarly they cannot send me direct messages unless I have followed them back. A twitter follower who is not a real person does nothing other than up my follower numbers, so why should I mind?

Unless TrueTwit starts to work in reverse, in being able to stop me from following people who aren’t real, then I really cannot see a reason to start using it. So if you are a real person and would like to follow me on twitter, then you can be assured of a TrueTwit-free experience. Similarly I will likely follow you back providing you look like a real person and are also TrueTwit-free.

Please share your thoughts, especially those of you who use TrueTwit.

21 comments on “Is TrueTwit losing you followers?

  1. Vik Gill says:

    Couldn’t agree more. TrueTwit just hasn’t been thought out at all, though I like the idea of the reverse scenario – I should work on that;-).

    Folks, please let’s be clear: You are not subjected to the timeline of anyone YOU are not FOLLOWING (unless you have added that person to a LIST but not followed them).

    If it bothers you that anyone can see your timeline by searching for you or following you, or putting you in a list, then all you have to do to make your Twitter experience less social is go to SETTINGS / TWEET PRIVACY and check the box ‘Protect my tweets’. This will ensure that ONLY your followers can see your tweets from that point forward.

    Think twice about how much you care though. If you are a business or organisation, I suggest you DON’T protect your tweets or the whole point of Twitter is lost. If you are a private individual just using Twitter to microblog with friends whom you want to be in control of finding – fair enough.

    Basically, using TrueTwit is just an exercise in online paranoia. You can still BLOCK spammers and bots through the Twitter BLOCK and REPORT functions, and you are always in control of who YOU FOLLOW. So you really don’t need TrueTwit and as Phil rightly points out – using it is costing you REAL and valuable FOLLOWERS!

    So calm down ‘eh;-)

  2. Good point Vik about your timeline being public anyway. TrueTwit does not even serve to up your level of privacy.

  3. Ian Hardacre says:

    I gave up taking eye tests when spammed by TruTwit (ed sic) and the more I checked into it I realised how useless it was as using simple tools like TwitCleaner gave me the choice to stop Following spammers.

    I encourage everyone to abandon using it and amazing as it may seem often folks don’t even remember signing up for it in the first place AND don’t realise what a turn off it can be for new Followers.

    One of my colleagues has a post from last year on the same subject

    http://www.thesocialmediabureau.com/anti-spam-or-anti-social/

    • Thanks for your comments Ian, a convert! I’m yet to hear from any TrueTwit users as to why they are using it. Interesting that you say that they may have forgotten, this may well be the case I guess!

  4. Claire says:

    Have to agree, Philip. I find TrueTwit a little annoying and can’t really see the point of it; as you say, you’re still in control of whose feeds you view, and who can DM you and it does not prevent spamming by @message, so not sure of the good reason for it. I too now have to have a really good reason to follow someone using TrueTwit or I just won’t bother.

    • Glad you like the blog post Claire and thanks for taking the time to comment. Since writing the blog I have now reached the point whereby I do not validate through TrueTwit and simply choose to not follow that person.

      I had hoped for some comments on people using TrueTwit to maybe explain why they use it – enlighten us all, but alas no.

  5. Ant says:

    I agree with the points you make about this. I always look at the info of each new person following me, and if they are a spammer/ not a real person, you can tell by either their url (usually some porn site), the fact they have tweeted 1000 people the same odd comment, the fact they have no followers and never tweeted etc. I had to verify using True Twit yesterday and it was irritating.
    The one time my account was almost hacked, it was by a real person, a ‘friend’ who had themselves been hacked and the hacker had used their account to message their followers with a dodgy link, claiming to expose ‘bad things written about you’ etc.

    • Thanks for your comments Ant. Glad you found the article informative. Interesting point about the hacked account, since TrueTwit doesn’t protect against that, as you have implied.

  6. The main reason I started using TrueTwit (apart from bot blocking) was to stop me receiving the validation messages!… because as a TT account holder you are of course automatically verified… theoretically if most people had a TT account the validation messages would not appear, unless caused by a bot/spammer etc. TrueTwit seemed to be more popular a while back, so it sort of worked for me at the time. Recently there seems to have been dwindling use of TT and a backlash against it. If the general consensus now is that TT is more trouble than it’s worth, i’ll stop using it, simple as that… I’ve actually removed it from a couple of my accounts, so I’ll be interested to see if TT has had a significant effect. :)

  7. Thank you all for your comments. The whole TT thing has been bothering me as I have been having trouble getting past 1320 followers. I get up there and then a small drop off and repeat. Now I just have to figure out how to drop TT. A2E

  8. cantubury says:

    how do i eliminate TT. it has lost me many people……

  9. someone says:

    but surely if one runs a spambot, all they have to do is sign up for the free version ???

    • Spambots do not even need to do that. Truetwit is a barrier to people (or spambots) following you, however only people YOU FOLLOW can send you direct messages, so no protection there, and you don’t need to follow someone to tweet at them either. Unless there is some other reason for avoiding spambots from following you, Truetwit serves little purpose in my opinion.

  10. Kevin Riley says:

    I find Truetwit incredibly annoying, and surely the whole point of promoting yourself on Twitter is to make it easy for people to follow you?!

  11. Juliette Weaver says:

    How enlightening! I’d never heard of Truetwit until today when I received a DM from someone I thought I was following already. How rude! Most Tweeters are only too happy to be followed – it’s a compliment after all. The individual who sent me the Truetwit DM will not be followed by me that’s for sure.

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