A good use for True Twit Spam?

 

Woman on a computer saying "I wouldn't mind the spam half as much if they would send me more pictures of naked men."

Spam is unwanted email. Are you sending spam before you send your spam?

Finally a good use for True Twit Validation! As you probably know I do not like True Twit Validation. In my opinion it is the most commonly accepted form of Twitter spam. However, today I received a True Twit email that actually made good use of the application.

True Twit advertises itself as helping you prevent spammers and to keep you from having your DM’s and newsfeed filled with spam bots. However, the only way it does this is if you auto-follow people back. Otherwise someone following you does not affect your spam at all. You cannot receive DM’s from people who you don’t follow nor will they be in your timeline. Only people who you follow are in your timeline.  So now you are the person sending the unwanted DM to the person who is trying to follow you.  Not only are you essentially cock blocking their follow, but you are generally being annoying for no real reason.  But that changed.

I received a True Twit email that said:

Please verify your Twitter account so they can follow me afterwards.

That little bit at the end was the first time I felt a validation email gave me real reason to validate. If you auto-follow people back, you are ensuring that you do not auto-follow bots.  However, you are now giving the person a reason to validate because you are promising a follow back.

I still think that True Twit is spam.  I still think that no one should use it and that the only reason most people do use it is because they get really tired of filling out the stupid CAPTCHAs. There are still many people out there who will never fill out the validation and would rather not follow you than go to True Twit.  So even if you are using it to vet your auto-follows, you are still propagating the spam. In fact, most people think that if you are willing to start off a Twitter relationship with spam, that it is likely you will continue to send spam for as long as I am following you.

If you really need to vet all the people you follow, use a tool like socialoomph.com which lets you do that before following people but without clogging their email box with spam.

TrueTwit: how to turn yourself into a Spammer

Tweet Bot
Bots? What bots? Illustration by Steve Talkowski

TrueTwit Validation is a service that lets you verify if the person following you is a bot or not. Of course I am getting these verifications from people who use their accounts for spam as well as real tweets. You just have to love the irony.

If you wonder why I would follow anyone who spams, when you follow people in the adult industry you are often risking a little spam.  I follow the person to vet them. If they are all spam, I unfollow. Plenty of people I follow are a mix of spam and real tweets.

If you sign up with TrueTwit, every time someone follows you they receive an auto-DM that asks them to click a link and fill out a Captcha to verify that they are human.

Anyone can sign up with the service for 30 days for free. Then you no longer have to receive these annoying DM’s or fill out a “verify you are human” Captcha. And after the free trial, you pay $20.

I have received an increasing number of TrueTwit Validations from people. I believe this is because by signing up they don’t have to receive the auto-DM’s anymore.  However, they are now perpetuating the spam by avoiding it themselves!

Ironically a lot of the people who are sending me the TrueTwit validation auto-DM’s are people who use their accounts for Twitter spam. The whole point of the service is to help you avoid it – they even advertise that it does this. That doesn’t actually make sense. If someone follows you, they cannot DM you. They are not appearing in your Twitter stream. So what spam are you getting from them?  The only way you would get spam from them is if you auto-follow people.  Here is an easy solution: don’t auto-follow!

And by the way, this is not a sure-fire way of preventing bots from following you.  If the bot owner signs up with TrueTwit they will not have to fill out the Captcha.

I read a great blog post about TrueTwit. It essentially answered my questions.

Basically, why would anyone want to use this?

  1. Who cares if a bot follows you?
    If you have quality tweets and engagement, the majority of your followers will be real people. So if you have a couple of bots, does it really matter?
  2. Why do you want to spam your new followers?
    If you are using TrueTwit then you are sending an auto-DM to your new followers that is basically spam.  Except now you are not spamming them with your own site, you are spamming them with someone else’s.
  3. How many followers are you losing?
    How many people don’t click that link? How many don’t fill out the Captcha?  Because if they don’t then you are not getting their follow.  So how many people are you losing because you are trying to prevent a bot that can get around the validation anyway?

So do your followers a favor, and just say no to TrueTwit.

Create your own Banner Ad on Facebook

Facebook has a new profile layout.  It is designed to make your experience more YOU-centric.  An interesting discovery has been made with regard to the photo strip at the top of your profile.  It can be made into a make-shift banner ad.  Oh yes, it’s true!

The top of your profile now has a photo strip that shows the images you have most recently been tagged in.  Seems pretty innocuous, however clever internet advertising people have figured out a way to capitalize on this space.

If you create images and tag yourself in the proper order you will be able to create what appears to be a banner ad.

Regular Profile

This is what a regular profile film strip looks like:

Facebook Film Strip

This is what most Facebook profile film strips look like.

Pretty simple. A series of 5 photos that you or your friends have tagged you in, meant to give people an idea of your recent photographic activity.

“Banner Ad” Profile

This is what a film strip tagged to look like a banner ad looks like.

The photo strip on facebook profiles creating what looks like a banner ad for Justin Bieber

It can't be linked. It can't be searched. But it can be seen when people land on your profile. Of course, these sections would contain images of Trevor... How would you turn your photo-strip into an ad?

*Image courtesy of Inside Facebook

Essentially images were tagged so they would appear sequentially in the film strip to look like a banner ad. Instead of having pictures that show tagged images of your life, you create a mini-mosaic creating a singular image out of 5.

If you click on the image it will take you to that photo, or segment of the banner ad. The caption could potentially have information about a website, product or promotional message.  But the picture itself would not link to any outside website.

Benefits of Tagging a Banner Ad

  • Another location online for putting your business message forward
  • Additional branding
  • Free
  • Tag your own profile
  • Tag and put a banner ad on another person’s profile*

*Read the disadvantages to see what can happen if you do this…

Disadvantages of Tagging a Banner Ad

  • It does not link to an outside site
  • CTR – No tracking of click-through rate – without a link there is no click-through
  • No metrics to analyze its effectiveness
  • Spam – you could get flagged for spam. If you tag someone else in your photos, to create a banner ad on another person’s profile page, you could get flagged for inappropriate activity and have your account deactivated. This is definitely a violation of the Facebook Terms of Service.
  • Spam? – if you tag your own profile you may still be at risk for being flagged for spam.  Even doing this to your own profile could be considered an abuse of the feature.  However, the likelihood that you will be noticed is much lower, because it is not like you are going to flag yourself(!)

How to do it

It is not as easy as it looks. Facebook does not put your full image in the tagged boxes. It takes a skewed thumbnail, most likely as a way to try to prevent this. However with a little perseverance you can figure out how to create a series of images that will line up.

If you are thinking of doing this, I would not suggest adding urls, business names or brand message. Basically anything that could be blatantly categorized as an ad should be avoided. Stick to an image, maybe even a name. Have something like “Welcome to…” “Your name here…with picture”

The question that remains is: will Facebook change this feature to prevent homemade banner ads? The spam possibilities are endless, but the potential for passive promotion on a personal page is huge.


photo of Lauren MacEwenLauren MacEwen is the senior strategist at 7 Veils Media, Inc., a premier social media firm for the adult entertainment industry.  She is a speaker at the upcoming AEE on the Selling through Social Networks panel and blogs regularly at 7veils.com.  You can follow Lauren on Twitter: @7_veils

Are you in her box? The new Facebook Email

woman wearing a sexy mailmans outfit

If I send you an email right now, I know that it goes to your inbox.  Worst case scenario, it might go to your junk mail box.   The new Facebook email might change that.  If I am not on your “preferred” list then I might not be getting into your box.

Are you sure you are getting in her box?

Here’s what is new and different, good and bad about the new Facebook email:

What will my email address be?

Anyone who wants it will get the @facebook.com email address. You can sign up for the email address here. Your email address will be your Facebook username@facebook.com.  Not sure what your user name is? Not sure if you have one?  Go here to set up your user name.

Good: Easy branding.
Bad: Most people can guess your email address.

Who can email me?

Everyone.  You do not have to have facebook, or facebook email to email someone with an @facebook.com email address.  Now when you send an email you can reach any email address as opposed to only being able to message fellow facebookers.

Good: Everyone can email you.
Bad: Everyone can email you
.

Social Inbox

The biggest change in email management is the social inbox.  This gives you 2 boxes inside your email. 1 is the preferred email and the other is, well, “other”. The preferred inbox is where emails from people you want to read will go.  Facebook decides this though social mapping. They base this on who you interact with on Facebook.  You can add or subtract people from this inbox. So, even with the social inbox you can still control who is in your “preferred” list.

The “other” box is literally a catch-all for everything else. It is meant to contain emails you still need to read but don’t want to prioritize, like bills and newsletters.  However, since there is no spam folder, this is also where all your spam will go.

The other interesting feature about organizing your emails by “preferred” and “other” is that you will receive notifications any time you receive an email in your preferred box.  Depending on how you have these set up, the notifications can go to your phone, SMS & Text, facebook notification, and even to your chat window if you are logged into Facebook.

Good: You can easily read the email you want to read before anything else.
Bad: You might miss important emails because they are not in your preferred box.

Will there be spam?  oh yes.

The new email address makes it easy to figure out email addresses.  They are crawlable by bots, so the spam bots will be able to collect them. So it is possible that you will be flooded with spam.  Since there is no junk mail box, all your spam will go into your “other” folder. The biggest problem with this is that you will have emails that you want to read in your “other” folder and they might get lost in all the spam.

Good: Got nothing for this one.
Bad: Lots of spam.

Porn not Verified on Twitter?

Are you verified on Twitter? Does it matter? Is it important?

For some people getting verified on Twitter is extremely important. Twitter verification is essentially a big blue check mark that says you are the real deal! It is Twitter’s way of establishing authenticity behind a well know and public persona. It is used for public figures, ie. politicians, celebrities, rock stars, etc.

Jenna Jameson verified on Twitter

One issue that a lot of adult stars face is the inability to get verified. Maybe someone already claimed your name and won’t give it up, not doing anything with it, just cyber-squatting.  Maybe they claimed your name to spam.  Maybe they are just posing as you.

Your name is a brand. You have worked hard at getting name recognition and you should be able to reap the rewards, not some random person in cyber-space who doesn’t know you from Adam. What is even worse than someone squatting on your name is if they are spamming or misrepresenting you.  Are they damaging the good name you have built?  This is, of course, why Twitter started verifying to begin with.  But many people in the adult industry have had great difficulty getting verified, or getting Twitter to help them resolve issues of cyber-squatting or spam/misrepresentation.  And yes we speculate discrimination.

Pornstar Tweet felt strong about this issue as well and created their own verification system for the stars they list. They vet the stars on their list and with any they can without a doubt authenticate, the readily offer their own check mark. Though unfortunately their check mark only appears on the list on their site and doesn’t translate to the Twitter avatar.

However, Twitter not verifying is quickly becoming a mute point because they are no longer verifying accounts. Since the change to New Twitter, many verified accounts have even lost their prized check mark.  Though support@twitter does say they are restoring them to their rightful owners.

The change to new twitter seems to come with the promise of a change to the verification system.  Apparently the verification system was in its beta form and Twitter will be rolling out a new and improved system.  Maybe this new verification system will be more open to verifying adult stars who have worked hard for name recognition and deserve to have that little blue check mark!

Team