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What does Twitter’s latest update mean for brands?

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What is the Update?

Twitter’s latest update, tackles the bot problem which the social giant has been trying to keep under control for years. This is in direct response to a recent bot purge which sparked the #TwitterLockOut hashtag to start trending. Twitter has hopes that their newest set of guidelines will solve the problem in the long term.

The update directly focuses on the prevention of spam and malicious content from being posted across the social platform. Also, any apps which are used to promote bot activity are banned so that duplicate content cannot be simultaneously posted. These bots are used for different purposes including the attempt to make a hashtag trend or to spread spam across the platform. If you fail to comply to the new and updated policy, you may run the risk of having your Twitter account suspended.

For many years now Twitter has made an attempt to make it clear to both personal users and businesses exactly what the anti-spam rules in place dictate. It is hoped that the update will do just that. As the update went live today, on March 23rd, existing users will be notified as to what is and isn’t allowed to be posted. Aside from informing it’s users, Twitter has also planned to ban any promoted bot activity, including the use of hashtags to influence ongoing trends, so that they no longer feature anywhere on the platform.

How will the update impact my business?

This new update is set to impact businesses across the board. With the aims set out by Twitter, businesses are unable to post duplicate content, replies or mentions on multiple accounts. As some businesses have control over several accounts, to which they post similar content to, with the ban on automation, this inevitably becomes far more time-consuming. Thus affecting many publishers who use third-party tools to schedule similar tweets across multiple accounts simultaneously.

Twitter stands firmly and does believe that this new update is necessary and worth any inconveniences it may cause to its users. The update is triggered by the substantial amount of criticism over the fact that Twitter had not done enough to prevent bots from spreading spam and misinformed information. When it comes to the impact on businesses, as with anything, some will be more equipped to deal with the change than others. This is down to the new time-consuming and demanding way that posting on multiple accounts now presents. Dependent on how reliant business are on Twitter, this could leave some wondering if it’s really worth it.

Twitter is offering a solution and is encouraging businesses to use the retweet feature in an effort to post similar content across several profiles. Although, whilst Twitter want to promote this feature, high volume automated retweeting is prohibited and may result in action by Twitter.

Upon reflection, many factors will have to be taken into consideration when determining what kind of impact this update will have on your business. For example, if your business has very limited time and resources, it is quite likely that you’re heavily dependent on the automation of posts throughout the day. Obviously, with that being said, the new update will cause a greater impact on your business.

What should we do or avoid?

Twitter has advised their users of the following new rules:

  • Posting identical or similar content simultaneously is not allowed.
  • Performing actions such as likes, retweets, or follows from multiple accounts simultaneously is not allowed.
  • Use of any form of automation which includes scheduling to post content which is either identical or similar. This also includes apps which you have authorized to perform retweets and likes is not allowed.

Twitter does, in fact, allow one exception to the guidelines they have set out. In any case of an emergency that applies to a broad audience, for example, weather-related or public service announcements, the rules can be disregarded.

What about the future?

As mentioned above, Twitter has strongly recommended the use of their retweet feature to avoid the impact of their newest update. However, this does not mean that it encourages a surge of retweets across the platform as this will lead to your account appearing highly automated.

It is clear that the update might make many individuals jobs more challenging and time-consuming, but, the way the platform is actually used has not changed and therefore the user experience will remain the same. So in terms of looking towards the future, many businesses whose teams manage their social media will have to post content within the platform itself and naturally retweet across their accounts. Whereas, prior to the update, these posts would have been simultaneously posted with each tweet featuring the exact same content.

So, what does it all mean?

The latest update improves the overall quality of content posted by users and businesses, with a view to aiding the prevention of malicious or spammed content from being posted. However, whilst this is a positive for everyone when it comes to the automation side of the update, this is an area which presents consequences. For businesses that are dependent on automation to control multiple accounts, this change won’t be quite as beneficial. This update helps some businesses realise that social media is constantly evolving. So, they need to be ready to adapt to new ways of engaging with their target audience to spread brand awareness.

Here at First Internet, we offer a wide range of SEO services. We have a lot of experience with websites of all sizes, so if you’re looking for help regarding social media marketing contact us on 0161 941 5330.