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Is Twitter about to start selling followers?


July 14, 2010

Want more Twitter followers? Want them enough that you'd pay for it? Well, Twitter might about to let you do just that. Mashable reports that Twitter is considering a "promoted tweeters" service, much like its current "Promoted Tweets" advertising. You'd basically pay to have your account featured, thus collecting an increase in followers.

It's still not clear what this product would look like, but rumor has it that it would work on third-party apps. As Mashable points out, that sounds suspect, because Promoted Tweets doesn't even do that yet. What would you think about a "promoted tweeters" feature, DLS readers? Is it something you'd use?

This week also brings news on Twitter's in-house analytics project, which was mentioned in a post on Twitter's official blog and set off a flurry of speculation. The engineering team at Twitter says they're using Cassandra databases for internal and external analytics, instead of the Mysql-based storage they use for your tweets. When Twitter posted this, they meant the news to be about databases, but the blogosphere seized upon that juicier word, "analytics."

Will there be a public tweet-tracking and analysis tool from Twitter sometime soon? ReadWriteWeb points to a tweet about Twitter employees working all night and drinking Mountain Dew to finish something related to Twitter trending app Dabble, which Twitter acquired a month ago. Very interesting!

Twitter's VP of Communications insists this new product is not worth "all this whoop-la," and that it's just a big update to one of Twitter's internal analytics tools. ReadWriteWeb isn't so sure, though, predicting something like Trendly (a slick Google Analytics dashboard) for Twitter.

What if complaining about a product on Twitter automatically opened up a ticket with the company's help desk? That's the future Zendesk is envisioning, adding Twitter integration to its popular helpdesk app. Now the 5,000 companies using Zendesk can just click on any tweet to pull it into Zendesk, and the Twitter conversation will be recorded, along with any followup emails that result. It even integrates with third-party Twitter monitor HootSuite. Very useful indeed! By the way, Zendesk is the support software Twitter itself is using. How's that for an endorsement?

Popular Twitter client TweetDeck just passed a staggering 15 million downloads, which it claims makes it the single most-used desktop Twitter app. The iPhone app has 2.5 million downloads. [via Mashable]

Twitter has also been turned into a golf game on a new site called Twirdie (Twitter+Birdie, get it?) You just enter a word, and the popularity of that word determines how far your golf ball goes. Trending topics are good for a long drive, but then you have to find some rare words to sink those short putts. It's tricky, and maybe more trouble than it's worth, but it's sort of a fun idea. [via Urlesque]

If you need to push your Google Reader items to a Twitter feed, Reader2Twitter gets the job done. It uses PubSubHubbub to achieve real-time sync. Also, there are three different sync types, so don't worry that you might have to tweet EVERY item in your Reader.

Author:  Jay Hathaway

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