On Twitter, you might see me as a little red TV adland, as that usually is me cracking snarky jokes at all hours of the evening, though I am not the only person here who has access to that account. (Please note - this is not an invite to keep DM:ing us press releases - use email for that.) But I do also have my own twitter account, Dabitch as well. It is in switching between these accounts that I noticed that adland is part of the Twitterati, while Dabitch is not. I feel conflicted about that.
Twitter admits that they don't show twitter ads to the Twitterati, which in this case is extra ironic as adland talks about ads all day long. It's Peter Kafka at Re/Code who first reported that Twitter has stopped showing ads to a small group of some of its most prominent and active users. And adland is one of those active prominent users. Yeay? Why?
Twitter sources say the company doesn’t select the no-ad or low-ad group purely by star power, but by a variety of criteria, including the volume and reach of the tweets they generate.
Ok, so it's probably because adland is quite active, and has over 150,000 followers who interact with our tweets. We're not Kanye yet, but like him, we see no ads.
A lot of tweaking is happening behind the scenes of Twitter, and as I predicted once the direct messages could be opened to anyone and they had more than 140 chars, Twitter would get a lot less chatty. People are now using twitter to announces news & links, or to simply read news and links, but not to "have a conversation" as they had before. Giant pile-ons still happen when a brand shows you a girl leaning on a another, or when they show a happy family, just ask the Gap & Old Navy. In fact these sorts of viral mob shamings happen more frequently now that they did before, as the regular "how's the weather" chat has largely become hidden in Twitter DMs.
Twitter has been tracking phone numbers and added IP tracking tools in their effort to curb Twitter harassment. Outside efforts like the Blocktogether tool created by EFF's lead technologist Jacob Hoffman-Andrews (@j4cob), has been used by less talented developers to clumsily block large swaths of twitter users and countless journalists, simply based on who they read. Twitter was, and still is in certain parts, a favoured tool used by journalists to follow world events as they happen live and keep an eye on online discussions and debates. As Twitter has evolved breaking news on the platform could just as well be a hoax, and outrage over someones mediocre ad can just as well be generated by bots. Millennials are too busy playing with snapchat filters to even notice.
— adland ® (@adland) November 20, 2015
Much effort has been put in to tweaking how Twitter shows you what's important, with the invention of moments and the trials of the non-chronological order. Threading is still a pain and people having 50-tweet chain conversations over someone's 2500 word article elsewhere vanish into the ether like the bubble in a glass of low calorie Pepsi®. It's the ease of typing on your phone app that keeps people coming back, even though Twitter is nowhere near what it used to be.
Now, if I could only get twitter to understand that when I say "no thanks" to the "While you were away" updates, I really mean 'please stop doing that'. Rejecting their non-chronological time-line at least once a day will seemingly never stick.
We've reached out for comment, but Twitter has not responded to our emails.
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