Here’s something that could have an impact on your tweet strategy, depending on exactly how Twitter looks to enforce it.
Over the weekend, Twitter CTO Elon Musk tweeted this comment in response to complaints about scammers gaming replies to popular tweets in the app.
Gaming replies to generate free advertising will result in account suspension— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2023
Now, again, depending on how you read this, it could have an impact on traditional Twitter strategies. Tapping into trending topics – or ‘newsjacking’ – has long been a means to gain more exposure and promotion in the app, and a lot of brands do use this as a tactic to maximize awareness.
But, of course, a lot of these replies are also spammy, and Elon later clarified that it was these spammers that he was specifically targeting with his comment.
Accounts that try to game our verification system with non-sequitur self-promotion or advertise in a misleading way will be suspended— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2023
So initially, Musk seemed to imply that all brands who look to get ‘free advertising’ via tweet replies could fall foul of, seemingly, a new Twitter rule, but he later added the ‘non-sequitur self-promotion’ element, which basically means that replies which are out of context, and that seek to advertise a brand in a tweet’s replies, will now be suspended if caught.
With that additional qualification, that should mean that trendjacking and engaging with trending events is still okay, but it does depend on how Twitter looks to enforce such, if this is indeed implemented as a new rule. Right now, we’re only going on Elon’s comments, and there’s no specific ruling on what this means, exactly, within Twitter’s Ad Policies.
Though it could be covered by Twitter’s Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy, which states that (I’m paraphrasing slightly):
“You may not use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify information, or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”
Technically, spammy replies to trending tweets could be an element within this, though it’s not, as yet, identified in the specific, noted actions that violate this policy.
Maybe it’ll be added soon, and it’ll be interesting to see the exact wording on this front, and how Twitter seeks to institute more direct bans of spammy replies for advertising purposes, and what that then means for Twitter strategies moving forward.
Maybe it’s nothing, but it could be another consideration for new Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino to sort out, as she goes about managing the expectations of brand partners, in alignment with Musk’s whims.