Users Can Take Precautions, Businesses Will Damage Reputations
Like all popular services, Twitter gets abused too. Who would’ve thought? Will spam kill Twitter? Well, do you still use email?
Perhaps it’s unfair to compare Twitter, which is still pretty much in its infancy to a communication medium that has been around pretty much as long as the web itself, but with the momentum that Twitter popularity is gaining, I can’t see it being incredibly threatened real soon.
Have a phone? You get telemarkters. Use email, you get spammers. Use Twitter? You still get spammers. Whatever the next big thing is, I can pretty much guarantee it will be exploited as well.
There have been many complaints lately about Twitter spam. A Bloomberg article looks at this situation.
“Twitter users post 140-character updates about their lives, making the site a potential goldmine for marketers wanting to know what customers are thinking about,” says Bloomberg’s Joseph Galante. “While Twitter Inc. could make money by charging companies to send ‘tweets’ to potential customers, the corporate babble may alienate users, threatening to stem the 18-fold growth in visitors in the past year.”
It’s true that marketers love Twitter. There is a ton of potential for it as a marketing channel. I’ve certainly championed the idea as much as the next guy. That said, there are ethics involved. Just like with email, there is spam, and there is legitimate email marketing. You opt in for legitimate marketing messages. You also opt in to follow people (or companies) on Twitter.
They can’t direct message you unless you follow them back. Yes, they can talk at you with the @username strategy, but looking at those is basically the Twitter equivalent of an ego search on Google. Yes, people often use the @username to talk directly to you instead of going the direct message route, but thats on you and your friends. Direct messages are there for a reason.