Has Twitter Become Overrun with Marketers? No, But Facebook Has

by francine Hardaway on October 21, 2009

"Has Twitter become overrun with marketers?"
I ask myself this question every so often, when my stream looks like it's full of people I don't know with brand logos instead of photos. I asked it again this morning, but this time I asked Twitter, too, and not just myself. The response was quite interesting; my small group of responders felt Twitter was doing a pretty good job of saving itself from being purely a marketing tool, in fact better, one person said, than LinkedIn. This informal survey is a mirror of how I feel, because I refer to Twitter as the "givers" and LinkedIn as the "takers" network.

   .  conrey Twitter isn't nearly as hijacked as linked in but that is primarily because it is an opt-in. You can just unfollow the marketers
   * espressojunky @hardaway @rbstang1966 It may be extensibilty and filtering tools which keep twitter relevant. Or, I'm really good at ignoring marketers!
   * teleken @hardaway "Hijacked" may be a strong term, but I'd say Twitter is oversaturated with marketers too lazy to engage.
   * espressojunky @hardaway Sig to noise ratio has changed but its still possible to tease out the disruptive voices. Early adopters have usually leapt by now
   * iCIMS I say no, not completely
   * WhiskeyChick @hardaway Which in internet time renders the tool outdated and "archaic" in it's usefulness, leaving the savvy users searching for the next.
   * paulwiggins @hardaway in summary, has not been hijacked by marketeers because veterans, a relative term, have estabished consensus. #Twitter
   * iCIMS @hardaway I dont think so.Som of the best people I follow on here r not marketers @ all, but rather thoughtleaders w yrs of (non mkt) exp
   * WhiskeyChick @hardaway …so by the time the pitchmen start to overrun, it's also a signal that mom, your boss, and great aunt Millie are trying the tool
   * WhiskeyChick @hardaway Savvy users already have "pitchman blindness" but these online pitchmen aren't targeting savvy users… (cont)2
   * jane_fell @hardaway As with any effective comm tool, opportunists come along and try to take advantage of it, ironically

However, neither Twitter nor LinkedIn can hold a marketing candle to Facebook.  The bigger it gets, the worse it becomes. And yes, I know the privacy rules. But I also know many people all over the world that I'd like to keep in moderate touch with.

But every day I get a dozen or more event invitations to events that take place in cities I don't live in, followed bu a plethora of friend requests, friend suggestions,  and announcements that  So-and-So has become a fan of (Company Name Here) and would like me to become one, too. I realize I don't HAVE to do these things, and I ignore things with great regularity, but often I have personal friends whose professional affiliations have nothing to do with our friendship. And I don't want to be a fan of their gift shop. Nor do I want to join yet another cause. All these inbound contacts make Facebook a chore for me.

So I'm thrilled that my instinct was right about Twitter. It's the best place for me right now.

Posted via email from Not Really Stealthmode

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

617patrick October 22, 2009 at 7:25 am

In my opinion, Twitter has really become overrun with spammer, but Twitter made a huge move to fight it this week because you can now flag people as spam. I wrote about it in a blog post at http://www.the-linkedin-speaker.com/blog/2009/1

Niland Mortimer October 22, 2009 at 8:40 am

Two of my college/grad school sons, ages 20 and 23, recently dropped out of Facebook, because its commercial aspects were taking too much time and they felt besieged with non-essential information. They felt their time was better spent “really” communicating with a few friends rather “virtually” communicating with many. Is this a trend?

Kari Korkiakoski October 22, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I think that all great services will be finally overtaken by marketers. If not even created by them. And that leads to the new ideas by the ones that wants to run away from that. Evolution through escaping marketers:)

nealschaffer October 23, 2009 at 7:31 am

The internet marketing crowd are swooning over the social networking sites, and we are all being preyed upon. What differentiates how we feel about the spam is how they can communicate their spam using the functionalities of each site. For Twitter, I use a Direct Message spam filter and don't forward messages to my phone, so the spam doesn't even bother me anymore. For Facebook, I agree about the “Events” spam, but other than that I don't mind it. For me, I see an increase on spam on LinkedIn, and I think it is happening because of the wealthy demographic that is LinkedIn. The good thing is that LinkedIn, as well as Twitter, are serious about stopping spam. The problem now is Facebook: I don't see them doing anything about it, so I do see the situation there getting worse.

– Neal Schaffer

Brendan Tripp October 23, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I don't know about you, but I don't follow anybody that I don't want to read … the only “marketing” that I see on Twitter is the occasional pitch from somebody who typically is interesting. I have NEVER understood the “auto follow” approach.

Nancy Hinchliff October 24, 2009 at 10:03 am

Interesting question. As I was reading your rationale for whether or not twitter is overrun with markerters, I kept coming back to my question: “Isn't Social Media a marketing tool.?” I know what you mean about faceless avatars and “in you face” advertisers; I just click them all away. But, even if the person smiles back at you and doesn't push their product down your throat, aren't they still marketing? themselves, I mean. Building relationships is one of the best ways to market nowadays isn't it?

hardaway October 24, 2009 at 10:08 am

Yes. It's a very blurry line, because we are all developing a personal
brand. I don't mind the personal brands, although @guykawaski seems to have
gone over the line for me, but I do mind the corporate brands; I have no
wish to hear from @carlsjr.

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