Yesterday Twitter published changes that have been made to their Developer Rules Of The Road, which outlines best policies, practices and philosophy for third party development and innovation on the Twitter platform.
Auto Follow & Bulk Follow are Banned
Among the changes made to Twitter’s TOS was the ability to auto or bulk follow through third-party applications. Twitter developer Sylvain Carle has outlined the changes in his blog post.
We have also clarified some restrictions: hosting datasets of raw Tweets for download is prohibited, and automated following or bulk following is also prohibited.
At least he lead with the “perky” positives before driving home the “limiting” negatives.
What is Auto Follow on Twitter?
Auto Follow is a following technique commonly used in marketing plans – where brands use a third-party app or software to automatically follow a user that mentions their brand, or hashtags their brand name, or when the user starts following them.
But, it looks like #AutoFollow of the Famous #FollowBack Crew will die unless people manually follows the users that follow them.
What is Bulk Follow on Twitter?
Bulk Follow is different than Auto Follow in that marketers follow more than one user at a time. Some marketers may wait until a particular day of the week, like Follow Friday (#followfriday) to start following the users that mentions their brand, or hashtags their brand name, or have followed them since the previous Friday.
Popular Auto Follow Services Will Be Affected
There are quite a few popular auto follow services that will be affected by the change.
Just to mention a few:
It will be interesting to see both if and how their services will change.
How Does Prohibiting Auto Follow Affect Business Marketing?
Those brands who once guaranteed a follow back of those who follow their Twitter account will have to take extra steps in following those who follow their brands. Whereas brands could employ third-party apps to Auto Follow, they’ll now need to employ a human to physically follow in order to achieve the same result.