Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is why Twitter Direct Messages (DM) are a nuisance...

In an earlier blog post titled "3 Biggest Problems with Twitter are…" I wrote an open letter to twitter (coincidentally on their 2nd birthday): 
Twitter, we know you are not perfect. You have your shortcomings. We all do. If you are picking some things to work on here’s number 2:
Direct Message: Auto Respond
We often times would have to disregard our DM box, as it was full of so many “Thanks for following – join us at 8am Monday through…." kind of nonsense. Plus the phishing, and hacked accounts through DM.

In the same blog post, I also discussed "Absentee Tweeting" as a big problem.

Now, look at this Twitter DM we received:

One picture says a thousand words.  Do I need to say more?

This fellow is not only sending our @OfficeDivvy twitter account an unsolicited, unnecessary (and really useless) auto-DM, but he isn't even able to automate it properly, with the %DISPLAYNAME%  field still showing as a field.

Why inconveniencing others is still allowed on twitter?  The current twitter DM-module enables and empowers that.  If some folks don't have common-sense or any courtesy; why do we not have a twitter-option to shot-down the DM module completely, or create filters to block certain DMs?  

Well, I must admit I actually have a system.  Do you know how I deal with unnecessary, auto, and spam DM?  I unfollow the person immediately!  We show zero tolerance for this kind of users, as such DMs show we're not a match, and there is no need to sweat it...

Are you burdened by "DM" in similar or different ways?  Please share your thoughts...

Ky Ekinci : Co-Founder Office Divvyposted by Ky Ekinci
Co-Founder, Office Divvy
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Connect? Ky on Twitter | Office Divvy on Twitter | On Facebook


  1. Oh man, I am so with you here! I HATE auto DMs. My one question for you: Are you autofollowing? Because I very carefully regulate the people I follow and rarely get auto DMs. Following a user like "debtfreedom4you" is almost guaranteed to be spam...

  2. ginasuupergstarkJuly 15, 2010 at 4:27 AM

    I'd like to add that if you are NOT sending auto DMs, try to include some indicator that you are addressing that specific person, so you don't get dismissed as automated.
    Often times a first name will suffice though I suspect some systems are experimenting with that. Sometimes, I receive a polite "Thanks for the follow. Looking forward to connecting" and it MIGHT be a real individual message, but it's tough to discern. I try to address the person or mention what drew me to them to follow in the first place if I am going to send any introductory DM. Thanks for this post :) Cheers!

  3. Thanks for your thoughts Gina.

  4. Thanks Marian, that's a good question to ask. No, at @OfficeDivvy we do not auto-follow, but we do follow back most of the folks who follow us. We try not to follow the robots, promoters, broadcasters, I guess debtfree fellow just slipped through.

    Because of our approach to follow back most who follow us (and with 20,000+ followers and dozens new every day) we get a high ratio of DMs. To date we received over 7,500 DMs. You can understand the burden. Out of that I've only seen a handful that I thought were useful or smart DMs (from those who we recently met).

    My thought is that it's best to keep all communication in public on twitter, and use DM for that occasional message or for someone you already have a relationship with.

    And really I don't think there is no reason to thank somebody to follow in such a fleeting platform. Especially when it's not done properly.