Twitter’s New Automation Rules – Focus on Building Your Community

By Charlie Patel March 23, 2018 0 Comments
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Bots and spammers create too much noise on the Twittersphere, and Twitter’s finally taking action. Unfortunately, with such change, the good kids who don’t engage in bad behavior are also impacted. Regardless, we think it’s a good thing and definitely a move in the right direction to improve the experience on Twitter. After all, we all rely on Twitter for traffic and certainly want to see it succeed.

The new rules imposed by Twitter are causing many applications and services, including Triberr, to change how certain functionality works. For more information, you can read this blog post by Twitter that explains the new Twitter rules and limitations on automation? Overall, they’re targeting “bulk tweeting” in which identical tweets are scheduled to be sent out by multiple accounts, or sent by one and retweeted by several others. Below is a summary of the key points along with our thoughts:

Twitter Rule #1: Avoid Identical Content Posted to Multiple Twitter Accounts

Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts.

This makes sense and is a welcome change. There’s really not much value that can be gained from posting identical content to multiple Twitter accounts anyway. Besides, posting duplicate content generally (manual or automated) is prohibited by the Twitter Rules.

Who does it impact?

  • Bloggers who post the same tweet to both their individual account as well as their blog’s account. Now, they’ll have to spend an extra minute to retweet from one account, or to vary the tweet text. As an alternative to posting identical content, you can simply Retweet content from one account from the other account(s) you manage. Per Twitter, this should only be done from a small number of distinct accounts that you directly control. Though, “small number” is not defined in their documentation.
  • Brands with multiple Twitter accounts. For example, a franchise may have multiple accounts for various store locations, and therefore posts same tweet to each account.
  • It may disrupt social media managers who manage several accounts in the same vertical or for a single brand. They’ll have to spend more time customizing tweets.

Triberr Changes

Luckily, the vast majority of Triberr users only have 1 Twitter account connected. Therefore, it will NOT impact 99.3% of users on our platform at all.

  • Our free users will be limited to 1 Twitter account, and 99% of them haven’t connected more than 1 Twitter account. Therefore, this issue will have zero impact to almost everyone.
  • As part of our development roadmap, we’ll be introducing a check to ensure the same tweet is not added to the multiple Twitter accounts by the 1% that do have more than 1 Twitter account connected.

Twitter Rule #2: No Likes, Retweets, or Follows from Multiple Accounts

Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously perform actions such as Likes, Retweets, or follows from multiple accounts. For example, your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control to follow a specified account.

I’m glad to see they’re taking action on bot-like apps. We support any update that improves social engagement and exposes accurate data instead of vanity metrics. Triberr has always been about real people and community building.

Who does it impact?

  • Mostly apps that provide actions such as like, comment, follow, and retweets.

Triberr Changes

  • No impact – our platform does not have such functionality.

Twitter Rule #3: Avoid identical content from being automated or scheduled to multiple accounts

The use of any form of automation (including scheduling) to post identical or substantially similar content, or to perform actions such as Likes or Retweets, across many accounts that have authorized your app (whether or not you created or directly control those accounts) is not permitted.

Said differently, it’s essentially the same as rule #1 but geared towards scheduling apps that have a calendar or queueing functionality.  This would include the majority of social media scheduling apps that we all know quite well.

Who does it impact?

  • Third party developers, applications and services are forced to adjust their respective platforms to prevent such scenarios from occurring.

Triberr Changes

We have several things in the works behind-the-scenes:

  • Improve or require users to edit tweets prior at point of clicking the Add to Queue button
  • Programmatically check the Queue to avoid identical posts from being scheduled – in progress
  • To the extent Twitter provides errors with explanation, we’ll display them to the user so they’re better informed on why a tweet failed.

Another Change: Avoid automatic sharing

Given these new changes and our desire to always be compliant with Twitter’s terms of service, we’ll be removing any legacy functionality related to auto-sharing. Luckily, there is a only a small subset of people that actually have utilized that functionality, and to ensure both our application and the users are adhering to the rules, it’s best to say goodbye to this legacy feature.

Who does it impact?

  • Legacy Triberr users who were around years ago that still utilize the auto-share feature. Luckily, only 1% of Triberr users leverage this feature and it was already on our team’s development roadmap for removal. From now on, this small subset of users will need to login to Triberr, like others do, to share tribemates’ posts. This is consistent with what Twitter is actually trying to force users to do. It’s an extra step in your process but a worthwhile tradeoff for a more engaged audience.

Triberr Changes

  • Remove auto sharing as an option.
  • To help track of your tribemates’ posts, we’ll be releasing a daily digest email to nudge you to share their content from Triberr

What to Expect?

We believe Twitter has good intentions with these updates. We think it is a necessary step towards improving the platform while also serving their key metric of increasing daily active users (DAUs). If there was any gripe about these changes, we’d recommend more clarity for both users as well as application developers. There are many questions that remain unanswered.

While these new changes stabilize, one should expect that there will be uncertainty around Twitter’s ability to decipher what’s a duplicate tweet and what’s not. Machine learning can only do so much! It seems Twitter is continuing its history of placing the burden on the user and third party developers, rather than themselves. Though, it’s a user’s responsibility to adhere to the content guidelines set by Twitter. Platforms can only do so much to prevent the actions of thousands of users.

Focus on Curating Quality Content

Twitter’s new updates actually highlight the need for users to curate content to ensure their timelines are filled with relevant and interesting items. Therefore, if you haven’t taken advantage of Triberr Curate’s content curation functionality, now’s a good time.

Focus on Building Your Community

As all the social networks continue to create moats around their respective ecosystems, it’s likely that they’ll limit users’ reach. Almost all of them have already become a pay-to-play platforms as they are all driven by advertising revenue. Therefore, it’s even more important nowadays to build your own tribe! The power of a tribe is far more valuable, accessible, and economical in the long run. Who knows what the big social networks may introduce in the future to further limit access to your audience. In short, focus on blogging and growing your community!

On a separate note, hey Instagram – we’re coming for you as soon as you open the API to more developers!

Charlie Patel

Charlie is always up to something. As a serial entrepreneur, he is CEO of Triberr - a content marketing suite and influencer marketing platform, - a leading podcast host and directory, 99 Robots - a digital marketing & WordPress development agency, Ampfluence - an Instagram growth agency, and several other ambitious startups. He likes random emails from users, loves story-telling, but dislikes being in the spotlight.

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