How many fake followers do you have?
As social media becomes more important in business and for pleasure, many people worry about the number of followers they have. For those who think that their number of followers is more important than who those followers are, there’s the option of buying fake followers. But a service launched this summer to spot fake followers, and with the attention that it’s been getting, it’s going to be hard to hide your fake followers much longer.
Fake Follower Check by StatusPeople looks at a sample of your Twitter followers to figure out how many are inactive or likely to be spam. Spam accounts are identified as those with few or no followers or tweets. It’s hard to be active on Twitter without attracting a few spammers, especially if you tweet about trending topics or certain topics spammers love (free iPad, anyone?). But if an account randomly gains thousands of spammy followers in a short time period or has an unusually high percentage of fake followers, it probably wasn’t all that random.
Twitter’s strict API plans
The Twitter Developers Blog published a post last Thursday outlining some of the changes coming to Twitter’s API in version 1.1. Guidelines for using the API, known as their Developer Rules of the Road, are much stricter, with display guidelines turning into display requirements. Authentication will be required for every request to access the API and the API endpoints will be rate limited at 60 calls per hour per-endpoint.
Along with talking about these and other changes, the blog post talks about the Twitter ecosystem. Twitter tends to group apps that use the Twitter API into four quadrants. One of these quadrants is mostly inhabited by “traditional” Twitter clients. A while back, Twitter began discouraging developers from building clients “that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” It looks like Twitter is going to begin doing more to prevent developers from building those sort of apps.
Developers have already started protesting this new API, with the CEO of Bottlenose.com starting an online petition. The Change.org petition urges Twitter to keep their previous promise to developers to be an open platform, to clarify their intentions for the developer community, to respect and appreciate the ecosystem more, and to remain to let Twitter users choose how they access the Twitter network (i.e. through Twitter.com, Twitter apps, or the clients Twitter wants to see go away).
The live-tweeted “Xtreme Dream”
Diana Nyad first attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida when she was 29, which was over three decades ago. Had she done it then, she would have written letters and made long-distance phone calls to tell people about her journey, and only once it was completed. But now, it’s 2012 and the 62-year-old swimmer has more instantaneous ways of updating people on the progress of her swim, which she calls the “Xtreme Dream.”
This time, her support team is live-tweeting updates from the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, writing blog posts, and updating a map on her website showing her position. Trending topics about her journey have popped up and will be sure to continue as we receive more updates about hitting unexpected weather and the fear of running into sharks and jellyfish.