Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Twitter: Spam or Marketing Hack?

I've noticed that I've had a handful of e-mails from random (mostly non-English speakers) add me to their friends list. This struck me as odd, because why the heck would they want to follow my twitter messages? I'm not planning on following theirs.

Is this all just some sort of twitter noise, or is there a reason for this?

Well, I think I just figured out a (the?) reason.

I just got notified that 1PinkRibbon is now following my twitter messages. And, oh by the way, here's a link to check out 1PinkRibbon's twitter page. I couldn't resist following the link. Sure enough, it brought me to a page that says: "Thanks again for following us while we try to raise $1 Million for research and awareness! <url-to-real-website>"

Then it hit me.

By adding me as a friend, I got sent a generated e-mail with their URL and a chance to spread their message. If I like the message, I can follow their twitter stream, which consists of more marketing messages.

Add 10,000 friends and you've just sent 10,000 messages.


A bit nasty, and I'm not sure I see a workaround for twitter to avoid this.

What the heck, I give credit to 1PinkRibbon for a bit of gorilla guerrilla marketing. Well done.