Category Archives: General

Why The Tweets Of Teamed Accounts Are Visible in Some Countries But Not In Others

Your timeline in each country contains the 3200 most recent tweets/retweets you produced. It appears though that on an ongoing basis your timeline in each country is constructed by the respective local servers. Periodically though (once per week) Twitter synchronizes all local servers between them. Nevertheless, most of the time – 6 days out of 7 – what you see is how the local server sees your account.

This means that if you created your profile in the United States and most of your followers are from the US then US servers (home) are going to crawl your account very frequently, say every 4 seconds. Also, if you are from US but have some active followers in Japan that trigger update requests about your profile, then Japanese servers will crawl your account every 4 seconds as well. Countries where you have no followers (exotic) and trigger few requests on your account appear to crawl the respective client profile less often, at a frequency not higher than once every 20 minutes. If a country is exotic with respect to an account but the accounts’ popularity increases there, as result of the surge in update requests such exotic country will turn into home and its servers will start crawling the account very frequently as well. The minimum amount of followers/interactions required for an exotic country to become home is not clear though.

But how does this affect hidden tweets? The main consequence of this difference in crawling frequency is that if an account is constantly retweeting new tweets and undoing them, local servers (home) will catch these retweets and count them as more recent posts (even if they are deleted afterwards). If an account receives about 3000 or so temporary retweets in 24h then any tweets posted before these retweets were received will be archived by local servers. Servers in exotic countries, on the other hand, that crawl your profile less frequently will miss most of the temporary retweets and catch, say, only 200 out of the 3000 you received in the last 24h. Hence why your most recent tweets will not be archived, because the post volume will never hit 3200 in the eyes of exotic servers.

Example: Client 1 is from India and has 2 accounts, @myparodyindia1 (audience demographics 80% US, 10% Asian, India included) and @clothesparody2 (audience demographics: 100% US, Canada, UK, Australia & <1% Asia, India ). Both accounts receive temporary retweets which are undone after a while but the tweets of @myparodyindia1 have been archived both in India and US. The recent tweets of @clothesparody2, on the other hand, have been archived in US but are visible in India (which is an exotic country with respect to this account).

Why Twitter Hides Your Tweets

A pathognomonic  sign has emerged among Twitter accounts that exchange retweets frequently: pre-archived (or hidden) tweets. The hypothesis we are going to test in this case study is the following:

Tweets disappear because Twitter (mistakenly) counts removed items (deleted tweets, unretweeted tweets etc) as items currently present in one’s timeline on an ongoing basis.

The premise is that as stated on Twitter’s respective support page Twitter displays only the most recent 3200 tweets/retweets.

It appears though that your current most recent tweet (CMRT) is seen by Twitter as buried under all the tweets you posted or retweeted after the CMRT but deleted too. We will refer to this group of posts as PORAD (Posted or Retweeted After but Deleted).

Example: If you post 1 tweet (CMRT) on a brand new account, retweet 3199 others (PORAD) on top of it and undo these 3199 retweets, only the CMRT will be left on your timeline. To Twitter though this will be your 3200th post (counting back from the most recent to the least recent), and an additional retweet/tweet (ART) on top of the CMRT published on your timeline will lead to the CMRT being counted as the 3201st post you created. As result your CMRT will be removed since it is not one of the 3200 most recent tweets/retweets you created. In other words, Twitter sees your most recent 3200 items as consisting of 3199 retweets (PORAD) and the ART even though you deleted the PORAD.

To test this theory we have created a brand new account, @TestHiddenTweet. Each tweet posted from this account will contain an ordinal number which reflects the absolute order in which it was posted, taking into account retweets as well. Thus,

  • if 10 tweets are retweeted on top of “tweet 1“, the next tweet posted will be called “tweet 12“.
  • if another 17 tweets are retweeted on top of “tweet 12“, the tweet posted right after those 17 retweets will be called “tweet 30
  • and so on until we reach “tweet 3200

After posting tweet 3200 we will activate spamcleaner to clean all retweets on the account’s timeline which in the end should contain only the counted tweets (the order assigned to them by Twitter on an ongoing basis). Therefore, if we posted only tweet 1, tweet 12 and tweet 3200 and the rest were retweets, after removing all retweets only 3 tweets should be visible on the account’s timeline:

  1. tweet 3200
  2. tweet 12
  3. tweet 1

If our hypothesis is correct, then the 3201st tweet or retweet we post on top of these 3 tweets should cause tweet 1 to disappear leaving only the following 3 tweets on the timeline:

  1. tweet 3201/RT 3201
  2. tweet 3200
  3. tweet 12

And finally, if we delete tweet 3201 or undo RT3201 only 2 tweets should be left on user’s timeline:

  1. tweet 3200
  2. tweet 12

If our hypothesis is proven true then we will be able to easily demonstrate why tweets reappear and disappear. For any questions or suggestions please use the comment section below.

Beware that the current hypothesis refers to how Twitter elaborates tweets on an ongoing basis. Current evidence suggests that on a weekly basis twitter synchronizes with accounts to ensure there actually are 3200 items on everyone’s timeline.  This weekly synchronization brings tweets hidden via the (possible) above mentioned mechanism back on users’ timelines.

Implications for Accounts Using Tweetdeck Teams

If a given account @myparody is

  • added to multiple tweetdeck teams;
  • updated once every 24h
  • and receives over or close to 3200 RTs in 24h (130RTs/h) from the teams it is added to;

Then the most recent tweet will be archived (possibly) via the above mentioned mechanism.

How To Fix Twitter (TWTR)

The noise on Twitter makes it very difficult for the average user to build a targeted following and be read.  To remove the noise and make it easier for users to find content they are interested in and be found by other people interested in what they do, 2 simple changes will suffice:

  1. Remove the “follows you” sign that appears when a user is watching the timeline of another user that follows them (see Instagram);
  2. Put a limit on the maximum number of people each user can follow (see Instagram).

The core issue with Twitter today is that people don’t use it in the way it is supposed to be used, people don’t look at their timelines and don’t read the tweets produced by those they follow. Not because they don’t want to, but because Twitter is structured in such a way that generates the wrong type of incentive . Ever got mad because someone didn’t follow you back? I bet you did, and you probably unfollowed them too after waiting for a while. Ever followed someone just because they followed you? You probably did this too, because you know how it feels when someone doesn’t follow you back. Or, as it happens most of the time nowadays, you probably followed them back because you know they might be using apps that automatically list you as someone who hasn’t followed you back leading to an unfollow. And you don’t want to lose a precious follower, even if they tweet about stuff unrelated to your field. In the end, this leads to one more unwanted tweet per unit of time on your timeline (one unit of noise). The average Twitter user follows thousands of people just because they followed him/her and they don’t want to lose a follower. This ultimately leads to thousands of units of noise on people’s timelines just so that they can inflate their followers count.

If Twitter removes the “FOLLOWS YOU” icon and bans applications from reading who has followed back then this toxic incentive would be removed and the Twitter community would be much healthier. People would finally follow based on interest, and the most competent would prevail.

The second fix required to decrease noise is to put a limit on the maximum number of people each user can follow. Because if someone is following more than 1000 people, they are basically reading nobody’s tweets. How could they if hundreds of new tweets are loaded on their main feeds every hour?

Increasing the tweets’ character limit will not solve the issue but will be just another hole in the water and will also kill one of the features that make the healthy side of Twitter so useful and unique today.

The Rationale Behind Twitter’s Suspension Spree: Duplicate Content & Twitter Newbies Among Your Followers

A Twitter purge of (big) parody accounts is proceeding at breakneck speed which has thrown users into confusion and dealt Twitterpreneurs a severe blow.  This comes right after Twitter’s Q2 Report, where it beat revenue estimates (+60% year-to-year) but was followed by cautious comments pertaining user growth. We think that the suspension spree is part of Twitter’s strategy to become more accessible.

Twitter is a public company and as such its main concern is that of delivering value to its shareholders. Share price, in general, is affected by a multitude of factors, on top of which  sits company’s financial performance (or its ability to make money). In TWTR’s (Twitter’s stock symbol) case, as with other social networks, investors have bet heavily on its growth potential because so far, Twitter has actually been losing money. But shareholders buy shares hoping to turn a profit by reselling them in the future at a higher price. This means that Twitter’s main mission is to fulfill the potential it has been stating to have, both in terms of user growth and cash flow. The latest report shows that although Twitter might be getting better at monetizing, user base growth has slowed down. Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto remarked that Twitter is still too difficult to use and its main challenge as of now remains that of reaching the mass market. This caused a sell off that led to a 7% dip in share price that day only. In the weeks that followed a lot of analysts questioned Twitter’s growth potential and its management’s ability to turn a cryptic duck into a beautiful swan.

So far, Twitter’s reaction to all this has amounted to changes in their board on one side and a suspension spree on the other. While Twitter C-suite/boardroom drama is meant to send investors a message that the company is changing course, account suspensions come from Twitter’s product team who, as Noto’s remarks suggest, must have been told to make the social network more accessible and more engaging.

Going back to our initial question pertaining suspensions, we believe that it is safe to say that these are not part of a direct assault by Twitter on publishers or Twitterpreneurs. In other words, Twitter is not suspending accounts because they are being monetized (unless you are selling retweets which is clearly banned by by Twitter’s rules).

In addition to that we can also conclude, from last months’ developments, that these suspensions must be Twitter’s product team answer to Noto’s call for a more accessible and easy to use social network. But what is actually wrong with the accounts Twitter is suspending and how do they affect engagement?

The Echochamber Trap

Twitterpreneurs are a good thing for Twitter but, unfortunately, not all Twitterpreneurs are good, most are just lazy. They are lazy, incapable of producing new content and engage in aggressive practices where content quality doesn’t even matter anymore, engagement comes from excessive exposure and conversion rates are more diluted than ever.

We all know that guy that creates a new account every day, copies tweets/content from around the Twittersphere, retweets such tweets aggressively on hundreds, even thousands of profiles through Twitter teams and builds a following consisting mainly of users that have only recently joined Twitter. The reason why, in the end, gullible newbies are over-represented in the following of such accounts is that seasoned users have developed filters and can spot fake/copied content pretty easily.

Let’s consider a newbie, @NEWTOTWITTER, who follows a low quality account (@SPAM1) that uses teams. Chances are that @NEWTOTWITTER will follow other accounts in the same team (of whose existence they are totally unaware in most cases) leading to the gradual build-up of echochambers around him. With time though @NEWTOTWITTER probably begin to spot duplicate content and eventually starts looking for a way out. In an attempt to eliminate @SPAM1’s annoying/spammy/duplicate tweets from their home feed they will unfollow @SPAM1. But chances are that @SPAM1 tweets will keep popping up on @NEWTOTWITTER’s timeline as retweets by other accounts in any of the teams @SPAM1 may have access to. So to get rid of @SPAM1’s annoying tweets the user will have to unfollow all accounts that are in the same teams as @SPAM1 , which will take a while as well since he/she will have to wait and see who retweets @SPAM1. But then some of those who retweet @SPAM1 might be other newbies who haven’t realized yet that @SPAM1 simply copies content. So in the end @NEWTOTWITTER ends up trapped inside an environment which he/she finds annoying and irritating. This definitely kills their propensity to engage with tweets and to even check their home feed altogether.

It should be obvious at this point why/how duplicate content leads to echochambers that kill engagement, slow down user growth and why Twitter’s product team thinks that cracking down on them will improve the social network’s accessibility.

Conclusion

Twitter’s recent suspension spree is part of Twitter’s product team strategy for a more accessible and easy to use social network. This follows Noto’s warning on user growth where he denounces Twitter as “too difficult to use”. We believe that Twitter’s screening mechanism goes after accounts that have a disproportionately high percentage of users who joined Twitter recently among their followers. For example, if on average less than 5% of a Twitter account’s followers joined twitter less than a month ago but over 40% of the followers of the account @CHECKITUP consist of users that signed up on twitter less than 1 month ago then the content quality (whole activity?) of @CHECKITUP is assessed and it is suspended if found to have copied most (percentage of copied tweets threshold?) of their tweets or to have infringed any of the twitter rules (selling retweets or IDs if done in DMs etc).

Do You Trade Retweets On Twitter? Use Spamcleaner To Automatically Undo Each Retweet After The Mutually Agreed Time

Last Saturday we released a Spamcleaner update which makes possible two things: setting a custom unretweet frequency and undoing retweets one by one, once their permanence time has expired, instead of cleaning them in bulk.

Custom Frequency 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 23.26.26

The new frequency tab now asks users to insert a duration of time, which can be up to 360 days. Users can define such time (T) by selecting days, hours and minutes (multiple of 5). T refers to how often you want Spamcleaner’s unretweeting script to run through your account.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 23.31.48

 

If T = 0 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes (as shown in the image above) then the unretweeting script will hit your account every 3h and 40 minutes, cleaning all retweets accordingly.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 23.37.14

If you want Spamcleaner to clean your retweets every 10 minutes then you have to set T = 0 days, 0 hours, 10 minutes as shown in the image above and then click on set unretweet frequency.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 23.39.24

If you want Spamcleaner to clean your retweets every 20 minutes then you have to set T = 0 days, 0 hours, 20 minutes as shown in the picture above and then click on set unretweet frequency.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 23.43.03

If you want Spamcleaner to clean your retweets every hour then you have to set T = 0 days, 0 hours, 60 minutes as shown in the picture above and then click on set unretweet frequency.

For any other frequency the same procedure applies, and once you set an unretweeting frequency the app will work on the background as usual and no further action is required from your side to keep it going.

How To Use Spamcleaner So That It Deletes Each Retweet Automatically After the Mutually Agreed Time

If you trade retweets then setting an unretweet frequency alone might lead to several inconveniences. In fact, the unretweet frequency cleans all retweets in bulk. This means that if you have picked a T = 15 minutes, then the app will clean all retweets every 15 minutes. So, if the last clean up happened at 8:00PM then all retweets produced between 8:00PM and 8:15PM will be removed at 8:15PM. As result, some retweets, all those done after 8:01PM will have remained on your timeline for less than 15 minutes, some might be undone even after only 1 minute. In fact, if a tweet was retweeted at 8:14 then Spamcleaner will remove such retweet in the next clean up round set for 8:15PM. And if you’re trading retweets your trading partner won’t be happy about it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 23.55.13

To avoid this we have added a new feature, the unretweet timer (shown in the image above in OFF state). If after setting an unretweet frequency (read the first section above for details), you ALSO switch on the unretweet timer then retweets will not be cleaned in bulk, but one by one. Basically, Spamcleaner will monitor every retweet separately and, if you have set an unretweet frequency of 1h, it will undo each retweet 1h after it has been performed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 00.00.29

If you are trading retweets with a partner and have agreed that each of you should keep each other’s retweets on their timeline for 20 minutes then you have to set T = 0 days, 0 hours, 20 minutes, click on set unretweet frequency AND switch on the unretweet timer (as shown in the image above).

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 00.03.34

If you are trading retweets with a partner and have agreed that each of you should keep each other’s retweets for 1 hour then you have to set T = 0 days, 0 hours, 60 minutes, click on set unretweet frequency AND switch on the unretweet timer (as shown in the image above). The same logic/process applies for any other time you have agreed to.

If you trade retweets or have any questions please use the comment section below.

How to whitelist a retweet

The whitelist feature allows for users to keep certain retweets on their profile permanently so that they do not get deleted at every unretweet cycle.

tweetid

 

To whitelist a retweet will require the tweet’s ID. You can find the tweet ID by clicking on the tweet and it will be the sequence of numbers at the end of the web address (shown above). Make sure that at this point you have not retweeted the tweet yet. Now copy the 18-digit number, sign in  on spamcleaner.co website and paste it into the given box labeled insert tweet id (shown below).

tweet id

After you paste the number, click on “add to retweet whitelist.” Now you can go back to twitter to retweet that tweet and it will never be unretweeted from your timeline.

How to use protection

Protection refers to the Spamcleaner feature located at the bottom of the user panel. It was created to help users delete unauthorized tweets posted from their accounts in periods of inactivity.

PROTECTION

The feature is intended to be activated when you’re not using Twitter (because sleeping, in class, on vacation etc) but have your account available on Tweetdeck/Hootsuite for peers to retweet from it.

Now and then the common Tdeck/Hootsuite password is leaked to unaffiliated third parties (hackers) who can use it to mass retweet their own accounts or, worse, to make offensive/false statements on your behalf that can alienate followers and damage your reputation.

Because retweets are cleaned by spamcleaner, unauthorized tweets would normally remain on the timeline until the user deletes them. And if the user is offline for one reason or another while this happens, such unauthorized tweets can stay up for hours, even days triggering hostile attacks from nonfollowers and followers alike. With protection, on the other hand, unauthorized tweets would stay up for at most 10 minutes and the damage can be negligible.

To activate protection you have to set a time interval for which you want it to be on. The image below shows how to set protection for the next 4h (from 5am to 9am). You first set the starting time, to do so click on the from field, a calendar will appear with hours displayed on the right. Pick a time and do the same with the to field (end time). Now click on activate protection and you should see a green notification saying that the date range has been saved.

activate protection

Now that protection has been activated all tweets posted in the saved time range will be deleted right after being posted. If you want to tweet before the saved end time (9am in the above example), all you have to do is click on the turn off protection button and new tweets won’t be deleted anymore.

Does spamcleaner delete tweets?

I’ve explained this several times in various chatrooms but I keep getting complaints about a (nonexistent) technical issue/glitch that deletes tweets. People, listen up and listen good.

There is no glitch, just a big misunderstanding. When you sign in on Spamcleaner you see 3 sections:

  1. Unretweet frequency section (top);
  2. Retweet clean-up section (in the middle);
  3. Protection (bottom).

When using the app for the first time the only section you want to use is the top one. It basically ensures that your retweets are undone periodically at a set frequency. There are 3 frequencies you can pick: every 5 minutes, every 10 minutes or every 15 minutes. To activate unretweeting you first select the respective frequency tab and then click on set unretweet frequency. That’s it, this is all you have to do for spamcleaner to clean your retweets periodically. If you do just this, none of your tweets will be deleted.

Top section

 

Rumors of a presumed spamcleaner glitch are spread by people who have activated the bottom protection section. Protection is a feature that can be used in many ways (I’ll dedicate a post to it) but what it fundamentally does is let you set a time interval (you pick a starting time and ending time, look at image below) and then delete all tweets and/or retweets created in such interval after you click on activate protection.

Protection

The last user who reported the (nonexistent) tweet-delete glitch had activated protection for the Jan/2007-Dec/2018 time interval. As result his old tweets were being deleted as well as the new ones. To resolve the issue he had to click once on the turn off protection button.

Our Blog: SpamCleaner and Insights on How to Grow Your Twitter Account

The scope of this blog will be not only to keep users up to date with the latest Spamcleaner developments but also to provide actionable insights on how to empower you as a Twitter user.

It is no secret that right now our priority group are high-end profiles with a solid following (>100k) and a high volume of interactions. On Twitter, as elsewhere, giving is the secret to getting ahead. An intensive exchange of shares (retweets) can lead though to a dilution of one’s presence in their own timeline which is, in turn, perceived as spam by followers. This is where spamcleaner comes into play. You can clean retweets every 5-10 minutes to pave the way for hundreds of exchanges per day and a higher growth per retweet.

In addition to that, we added new features to delete tweets posted in a to-be-defined timeframe (Version 1.1). This allows users of platforms like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to limit the amount of unauthorized tweets posted from their accounts in case the common Hootsuite/Tweetdeck account they are using is compromised when they are away.

A new version (1.2) will be released the first week of January. For suggestions use the comment section below.