Study: Fake Twitter Follower Market Is Still Thriving Thanks To New Spam Tactics

twitter-birds-followers-featured Welcome to this quarter's report on Fake Social followers. BarracudaLabs dove headfirst into the world of paying for perceived social popularity. Verdict:  The fake follower economy is still flourishing and is still the scourge of social media. The study showed that not only is the fake follower economy flourishing, but it is in fact growing. Compared to last year BarracudaLabs found that the average cost for one thousand Twitter followers was 60% of this time last year ($11/k vs. $18/k). Over 1147 "abusers" were identified by Barracuda, with the average Twitter buyer having 52,432 follow [...]


Twitter’s New @MagicRecs Account Promises Content & User Recommendations Via Direct Message

twitter-magic-recs-200px Shhhhhh. It's still pretty hush-hush at the moment, but there's a new Twitter account that aims to increase awareness of activity from your "follow graph" -- i.e., the notable things that are happening in the accounts that you follow. In the process, it also opens the door a tiny bit on the idea of direct messages as a marketing/content channel. More on that in a bit. The @MagicRecs account is about as quiet as an account can be after Twitter CEO Dick Costolo plugged it on Sunday night, saying it's "a product of some great work by the team here. Follow it!" (Despite that, @MagicRecs still h [...]


Twitter, Vizify Launch #FollowMe Video Profile Creator

twitter-logo-2012-new Twitter users have a new tool at their disposal to help build their followers. Twitter and Vizify have partnered on a #FollowMe video creation tool that collects a user's Twitter profile activity and turns it into a video that runs about 30 seconds or so. The video profiles include your most popular tweets, photos and Vine videos, along with info on what topics you tweet about most often, when you tweet most, and what other users you interact with the most. The end result -- or at least the goal, perhaps -- is to make a short video that serves as a snapshot of the Twitter user and, as [...]


Twitter Simplifies Profile Photo & Background Image Editing

twitter-egg-no Okay, brands, you're running out of excuses not to have a nice custom background and a solid photo/logo for your Twitter profile. Twitter has simplified the process of adding or changing profile photos and background images by bringing the editor right out on your Twitter profile, rather than making those changes possible only in account settings. This has actually been happening over time -- you could change images from the main profile page for a while, but now there are new options that include drag-and-drop uploads from your computer desktop taking a new photo via webcam and au [...]


Twitter Lists Get A Major Expansion: 1,000 Lists & 5,000 Accounts Each

twitter-new-logo-blue Twitter has announced a two-fold expansion of its seemingly ignored Lists feature, and the upgrades feature significant expansions of Lists' previous limitations. Users can now make up to 1,000 lists, instead of 20. And each list can have as many as 5,000 accounts in it, an upgrade from the previous limit of 500. Lists have had those previous (and overly restrictive) limits since the product was first rolling out in 2009. Expanding the numbers has been a common feature request, so today's news is sure to be well-received. Twitter Lists are a great way to monitor accounts whether you f [...]


Twitter Adds Two-Factor Authentication Option Amid Recent Twitter Account Hijacks

twitter-two-factor Twitter announced they've added two-factor authentication in order to help better secure Twitter. Recently, there has been a large increase in the number of high-profile Twitter accounts being hacked into. Such examples include the AP Twitter account, MTV Twitter account and many more. Many are due to insecure passwords; thus, Twitter has added the option for users to add an extra level of sign in security through two-factor authentication. Login to your account and go to your account settings page. Go to the "Account security" section and click on "Require a verification code when I sig [...]


Twitter Sued By User Who Wants @SunValley Back, Claims Twitter Acted Like Bully

twitter-legal-law Did Twitter unfairly take away Leonard Barshack's handle and give it to Central Idaho ski resort Sun Valley Co.? After using the Twitter handle @sunvalley since 2010, Barshack received an email from Twitter last year notifying him that a report had been filed declaring he was engaging in "non-parody impersonation" with his Twitter handle. The Associated Press reports Twitter claimed Barshack was violating their policy that mandates an account's profile information "make it clear that the creator of the account is not actually the same person or entity," as the subject of the impersonation. [...]


Twitter Warns Reporters To Be “Extra Vigilant” After @AP Account Compromised

twitter-hacked-200px (screenshot via CNN) Twitter is warning media outlets to be "extra vigilant" in light of today's incident involving a fake tweet sent out by hackers that had gained access to the Associated Press' Twitter account, @AP. It's also good advice for brands and marketers -- and for all Twitter users, actually. Shortly after 1:00 pm EST today, the AP's account sent out a (fake) tweet saying that President Obama was injured after "two explosions in the White House." The Dow Jones stock market index momentarily tanked almost 150 points. The AP disabled its Twitter accounts, at least temporari [...]


Twitter Brings Back ‘View All’ Option To Media Galleries

twitter-camera-images-200 Good news for brands, marketers and anyone with a highly visual or image-based Twitter presence: The "view all" option for Media Galleries is showing again on Twitter profile pages. Visit any Twitter profile and you should see the "View all photo and videos" link below the most recent six images/videos that the user has tweeted or retweeted. Here's an example from @gap (The Gap): The "view all" option was present when Twitter launched galleries back in the summer of 2011, but it curiously disappeared sometime this past winter. When the link went away, the only way to see an accoun [...]


My, What A Big Profile Page & Cover Photo You Have, Google+

google-plus-featured Like many today, Google+ offered to upgrade the cover photo of my Google+ profile page to the new larger size, up to 2120x1192. Wow, would that even fit on my screen? And would anything even show other than the picture? Let's have some fun comparing profile pages at Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Oh Say What Can You See? For this test, I loaded up all the pages on my MacBook Pro Retina running at the default display resolution of 1440x900. I normally run the screen at a higher resolution, 1680x1050, giving up a tiny bit of quality for more screen real estate. But I wanted to stick with wh [...]


Amid Recent High-End Hacks Twitter Beefs Up Security With DMARC Technology

Twitter logo If you manage a Twitter account, you likely know the endless phishing attacks that come with the territory. Twitter has long been the target of various scammers who do their darnedest to make their email appear to be official Twitter messages. Well earlier this month Twitter began using a new technology, DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance,) to combat phishing attempts. Basically DMARC uses authentication for those emails that are trying to cloud the specific domain where they are being delivered from. Using established authentication protocols, those us [...]


MTV Uses Twitter Hack To Promote BET Experience

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 3.19.30 PM Yesterday, it was Burger King. Earlier today it was Jeep. And now it's MTV. It's a brand marketer's nightmare -- getting your Twitter account hacked. About a half hour ago, the MTV account tweeted "MMM. THIS BURGER TASTES GOOD!!!!!!!!!! #MTVHACK." MTV is the third major brand account that has been hijacked this week. The account was temporarily branded as the BET Experience, a live music event in Los Angeles. It's not confirmed if promoters of the event hacked the account. Sine then, the MTV Twitter seems to have been frozen, and the BET Experience branding removed. Earlier to [...]


Shop 140 Characters At A Time With New Twitter-AMEX Partnership

twitter-amex-logos The alleged collaboration between American Express & Twitter was true. Soon, users will be able ditch the malls and start shopping straight from your Tweets. Users can quickly set up their accounts on the AMEX Sync website. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUXQYrn8zds[/youtube] According to the Wall Street Journal, American Express customers that connect their card to their Twitter account will be able to purchase a specific set of products, including Kindle Fires and Donna Karan Jewelry, directly on Twitter. This AMEX-Twitter relationship isn't just a fling, as the two hav [...]


Twitter Media Galleries: Not User-Friendly & Not Brand-Friendly Anymore

twitter-camera-images-200 In an era when brands are flocking to Pinterest because of the opportunity it provides for high-quality visual marketing, and Instagram is taking steps to be more attractive to its growing brand users, Twitter has made a curious decision that essentially takes away similar visual marketing opportunities on its platform. I'm talking about those media galleries that were in the news this week. They now show both photos and videos, but they're a lot less useful than they were both for brands and regular Twitter users. Here's why: sometime in the last few months, Twitter removed the ability [...]


Twitter Says Hackers May Have Accessed 250,000 User Accounts

twitter-security-hacking-featured Twitter says a group of "extremely sophisticated" hackers may have recently accessed limited user information for about 250,000 users accounts, prompting the company to reset the passwords associated with those accounts and remind all of its users to create a stronger password. The investigation is still going on, but Twitter says the hackers might've accessed some users' personal information: This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process mom [...]


Twitter Adds Videos To User Media Galleries

Twitter announced a couple changes to its interface today, the most interesting of which (in my opinion) is the addition of videos to media galleries. Media galleries were originally called User Galleries when they rolled out in Summer 2011. They show(ed) the 100 most recent photos that a user shared or retweeted. Twitter says videos from Vine, YouTube, Vimeo and other sources whose videos show in expanded tweets will show up in Media Galleries now. Brands that are actively tweeting quality images, or already adopting Vine, should welcome the expanded galleries as a place to collect more [...]


Twitter Now Partnering With 250 Carriers In 100 Countries To Help Bring Tweets To The Masses

featured-image-twitter-cycle In an ever expanding effort to grow, Twitter is now partnering with cell carriers to help users Tweet on select feature phones. According to Bloomberg Twitter has now partnered with nearly 250 operators in 100 counties to help users read and post Tweets without having to pay high data charges. In some deals, operators have agreed to waive text fees for those using the service, and in others Tweets can be  read or posted with the data charges being waived. A shining example of this feature is in Turkey where Twitter has partnered with carrier Turkcell. The partnership allows us [...]


Step-By-Step: How To Download All Your Tweets With The New Twitter Archive Service

twitter-bird-featured Gone will be the days of scrolling through pages and pages of your Tweets or Twitter's clunky search to find something you once posted. Twitter is in the process of rolling out a "Download all your Tweets" feature, which has been formally announced today on the Twitter Blog. To get your archive, go to the Settings area and look for the new "Your Twitter archive" feature: Due to high demand, don't be surprised if you get an error message like this: But keep trying, until you get a success screen that offers a link you can use to download the archive: You'll then get an email like th [...]


Twitter Switching Everyone To New Profiles In Two Days

twitter-new-logo-blue If you prefer your old/current Twitter profile format, you've got about 48 hours left to enjoy it. Twitter says it's going to convert all user profile pages over to the new, image-heavy design beginning on Wednesday, December 12th. This is the big change that Twitter announced on NBC's Today show back in September. I haven't updated my personal Twitter profile page yet, but we quickly updated the @marketingland account to look like this: If you still plan to hold out and not upload some custom image for the top of your profile, Twitter says it'll show a gray image in that space b [...]


Twitter Quietly Launches A User Directory

twitter-bird-city-geo-featured You may not have noticed the link, but it's there in the footer of Twitter's home page if you're logged out: "Directory." It's a link to Twitter's unannounced user directory, an alphabetical collection of all Twitter account holders from A to Z that also includes profiles with non-Latin character names. Twitter launched the user directory "a few weeks ago," according to a spokesperson, but hasn't made a formal announcement about it. That's likely because it exists more for search engines than for Twitter users -- a topic that I cover today in my Search Engine Land article, Twitter’ [...]


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