Tag Archives: twitter

Klout Facebook Request via Twitter Email

Twitter leads summary email with a promotion of Facebook … until you click the link.

Twitter’s new summary email has been slowly rolled out to users. They started with inactive accounts, and last night this personalized email was sent to most users. Surprisingly many of the top stories where a promotion of Facebook.

I had access to a dozen of the new Twitter summary emails sent last night and two of them led with a promotion of Facebook.

Automated curation can certain lead to issues like this were competitors are promoting each other, and if people are sharing their Facebook pages on Twitter, maybe they should show up as the lead in a summary email. The problem is . . . they aren’t.

Many shared Klout links now redirect to Facebook.

I have written previously about how Klout is making an aggressive push to get people to connect their Facebook accounts, invite friends to their service and authorize their Facebook app. Now Klout has  started to redirect links to their own site so the automatcally go to Facebook. Frequently when you click on shared Klout link, it will take you to Facebook for another attempt to get you to connect.

This aggressive approach has been highlighted by the new Twitter summary email.  When you click on the link to go to what you believe is Facebook, you actually end up going to Klout and get this message.

 

The actual link code is fairly complicated, and I assume is making sure anyone clicks on a link is prompted to connect their Klout account to Facebook and/or invite others to join:

https://t.co/redirect?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flogin.php
%3Fapi_key%3D128085897213395%26cancel_url%
3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fklout.com%252Foauth_fb_callback%253
Ferror_reason%253Duser_denied%252
6error%253Daccess_denied%2526error_description%253
DThe%252Buser%252Bdenied%252Byour%252Br
equest.%26display%3Dpage%26fbconnect%3D1%26next%3
Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.facebook.com%
252Fdialog%252Fpermissions.request%253F_path%253
Dpermissions.request%2526app_id%253D1280858
97213395%2526redirect_uri%253Dhttp%25253A%25252
F%25252Fklout.com%25252Foauth_fb_callback%2
526display%253Dpage%2526type%253Dweb_server%2526
perms%253Doffline_access%25252Cemail%2525
2Cread_stream%2526fbconnect%253D1%2526from_login%
253D1%2526client_id%253D128085897213395
%26rcount%3D1%26skip_api_login%3D1&sig=
b94727f253f9eba0a4401a26a9ae233a7d3f3ded&iid=12e46f
eb-61fe-4a82-afa4-cdc0eea80bb6&uid=252263949&nid=12+158+20120603

Twitter’s Problem: User Confusion

Twitter’s summary email is getting it wrong. I click to go to Facebook, but in my case I am actually forwarded to Klout. Whether you think Klout is a useful site or not, I don’t want to click links in the Twitter email thinking I am going to one website only to end up at another. Klout can certainly redirect people from their own site to other pages. It is some of the most aggressive behavior I have seen, and Twitter shouldn’t be contributing to it with their confusing promotion of Facebook… err,  I mean Klout.

 

WoodfordReserveTweets

Are you 21 or older? Some Twitter accounts now have age restrictions.

In March there was considerable coverage of Vitrue’s announcement that using their social platform, they planned to bring age verification to some Twitter accounts. The idea is that liquor companies wanted to be on Twitter, but they were concerned about having under-age followers.

Now we are starting to see age verification in action.

I recorded a short video of the process as it relates to the Woodford Reserve Twitter account.

I have an email and call out to Vitrue to confirm that this is their software in action. There is no Vitrue branding on the verification on the page, so it could certainly be done by someone else.

The system isn’t 100% perfect. In Woodford Reserve’s case their account is public and anyone can view their tweets by going to their profile page.

If a liquor company’s account was private, this would be a pretty ideal solutions at least in terms of meeting a high standard for age restriction. Since Woodford’s account is public, anyone can retweet one of their tweets and those tweets can be seen by anyone in their stream.

The industries solution seems to be to add a disclosure in their tweets. Since we are dealing in 140 characters, the disclosure are likely only readable by those familiar with SMS style abbreviations (ironically those people are often young).

Based on seeing other tweets in the industry, “Msg421+” likely means that the message is intended for those 21 years of age or older.

“BrbnWskyWRDist” likely means Bourbon Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Distillery.

It feels a bit like figuring out what a custom license plate is trying to say. The disclosure comes at the end, so the “damage” is already done.

I don’t fault Woodford Reserve at all for their approach. Dealing in 140 characters is difficult, and many alcohol producers are on Twitter with only a “21+” disclosure in their bio.

Alcohol marketing on social networks is a real issue. @free had to turn down an excited sponsor because their brand was a winery. It would have been a great sponsorship, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it with the @free audience that tends to skew young.

It will be interesting to see if more liquor brands begin to adopt an external age verification system.

Thanks to Bryan @CentroCigars to mentioning his experience which led to this post.

This is an evolving issue, and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

Note that the call to action is to visit Twitter.

Twitter finally using Summify software, and it looks great.

I am a big fan of Summify. I first wrote about Summify last year when I talked about it being a great option to get an overview of what the people shared while I was on vacation and not on Twitter. Since then I continue to look at the summary email every night. Summify does a good job of finding some of the more interesting and notable links shared each day.

On January 19th, Twitter bought Summify. I was concerned that Twitter would shut down Summify, and in fact there was some indication from Twitter that they would do that. Despite that indication, I continue to get Summify emails each day.

Today, I finally got a chance to see what Twitter plans to do with Summify. The image below shows a new email summary from Twitter (on the left) that looks so close to a Summify email (on the right), that I have to think it is a use of the technology.

New Twitter summary email is useful and may bring users back.

Note that the call to action is to visit Twitter.

The new Twitter email goes beyond just a summary of popular links shared by those you follow. It also includes five tweets that were popular in the last day, but that don’t have links in them.

The new Twitter email is very clean, and I think it will solve several issues that Twitter has. First, it keeps Twitter interesting and relevent for people who don’t check the service frequently. Secone, it is likely to get people  who previously signed up for Twitter, but who don’t use it, to try it again.

I looked at the notification pages for a few Twitter accounts I use, and I didn’t see a check box to sign-up for a summary email. It could be that Twitter will use previous opt-in permission to send this email, but the email is so useful I have to think that they will allow users to specifically signup for it in the future.

 

Friends to Follow on Pinterest Twitter Follows

New Pinterest development makes connecting your Twitter account much more important.

Update 3/30: Reader feedback and my own research seems to indicated that to get a Twitter related bump in Pinterest followers , you need to have started your Pinterest account using your Twitter credentials. For now, if you started your account using Facebook credentials, you get recommended to other people you are connected to on Facebook. If you started your account via Twitter credentials, your account will be recommend to people who follow you who also used Twitter to sign up. Simply connecting your Twitter account after the fact doesn’t seem to allow your account to also be recommended to Twitter users. Bottom line: if you are going start a new Pinterest account for your business, it is absolutely important to link it to your Twitter account.

Pinterest experienced some controversy from auto-following friends if you used your Facebook account to sign-up. In a much less aggressive manner, you will now start getting more followers on Pinterest by having your Twitter account linked.

Pinterest has started to recommend “Friends to Follow” in the top left hand section of your main Pinterest stream page. Based on looking at the recommendations for the @free account,  Pinterest is suggesting accounts to follow based on who you follow on Twitter.

You can’t see all your Twitter connections on the site yet, but Pinterest has started showing three possible connections. These recommendations change each time you refresh your page. When you click on “See All” you are just taken to the Pinterest connection page which doesn’t provide any additional Twitter connections.

Twitter to come soon?

Since Pinterest is now showing a limited selection of Twitter connections, it is likely that they will eventually have an entire page that will feature accounts you follow on Twitter.

This is important news to everyone looking for more Pinterest connections, but it will be be particularly relevant to brands and businesses.

Since Pinterest doesn’t allow you to connect a Facebook Page, Twitter will become the best way to leverage your exist social media connections to build more Pinterest followers. It should be noted that even if Pinterest eventually allows you to connect your Facebook Page, it wouldn’t be consistent with Facebook API and policies for those who have Liked a page to have your Pinterest page recommended.

Based on the recommendations I have observed so far on the @free page, it isn’t clear whether Pinterest is weighting recommendations based on the activity of the your account. People are certainly less likely to follow your Pinterest account if you don’t have active and relevant boards, but it seems for now that just having a Pinterest account that is linked to Twitter will get you on the list. I observed several boards be recommending to the @free Pinterest account that don’t have any boards or pins.

If your brand aligns with visual images or you have ideas for how to use Pinterest , it makes sense to start working on having relevant boards now. Combining compelling content with connecting your account to Twitter could result in a significant number of new followers, particularly if you already have a substantial Twitter following.

Pinterest now using Zendesk to help answer Pinterest questions

Have questions for Pinterest? Pinterest is now using Zendesk to address users’ questions & issues.

Are you waiting on a response from Pinterest? Don’t feel too bad if you haven’t heard back. Pinterest has managed to scale their site with rapid user growth, but scaling customer support has not been as easy.

Pinterest has been inaccessible in a way that few businesses can be. It is not just that you, one dedicated user, can’t get a response. Some of the biggest brands in the world want to get some personal attention from Pinterest, and they aren’t getting it.

In order to deal with this lack of communication, Pinterest is now offering a support section, powered by Zendesk, to address user issues. Yesterday, Lauren Orsini of Daily Dot was the first to cover the specifics of Pinterest’s new support option. While Zendesk offers a number of options for aggregating and addressing frequently asked questions, the core of the product comes from increasing the efficiency of actual people processing issues. Given the small staff Pinterest has (last reported at under 20), it is difficult to imaging that a ticketing system will resolve the lack of communication, but it is a first step. It is possible that the ticket system will largely be used to populate the FAQ section of the support pages. If that is the case, Pinterest should likely provide some type of disclosure of this. If individuals aren’t going to get responses from tickets, those users who have already spent hours typing multiple emails to Pinterest are unlikely to want to repeat this frustration with the Zendesk ticket system. Facebook has dealt with user support and moderations issue by using third party contractors hired through 0Desk. It is possible Pinterest is deploying something similar.

Lauren from the Daily Dot provided a good overview of the new system:

Now, pinners can use the support center to discover “Instant Answers.” The FAQ is divided into two sections: one for the “basics,” another for “sites, brands & businesses.”

That separation is itself a revealing step in Pinterest’s evolution—an acknowledgement, however quiet, that businesses large and small, not just individuals, are active on the site.

Despite Pinterest quietly launching the support page, Lauren’s article indicates the number of tickets already sent to the system could be as high as 11,000, but is at least 4,000.

Our tipper, Hutchison, opened ticket #7308 on Friday, and hasn’t heard back.

When the Daily Dot used the ticketing system to ask for a comment, our ticket was #11065. If Pinterest is labeling tickets numerically, that means Pinterest’s small staff is fielding more than a thousand requests a day—and that was over a weekend.

Zendesk integrates with social media, but has Pinterest gotten too big to use these channels?

A centralized place to discuss and post Pinterest information is likely the best step for a company that has as many users as Pinterest. But I wanted to briefly look at how Pinterest has used their social media accounts up to this point. The bottom line is that you likely shouldn’t waste your time trying to communicate with Pinterest via social media.

Blog

Pinterest hosts their blog on Tumblr. I went back through the comments since October, and there wasn’t a single response from someone at Pinterest despite hundreds of questions being asked. I finally found an actual response from Pinterest in September. As you can see from their Discuss profile (the software that they use for blog comments), they haven’t post a response in six months.

Twitter

The last @message response from Pinterest’s Twitter account was in December of last year. Since then messages to Pinterest’s Twitter account didn’t get any responses. In the first three months of this year, Pinterest has only made seven tweets total.

If you look at the Pinterest’s timeline, you will see frequent @messages addressing user questions all the way up to the summer of 2010. After that point, it seems Twitter was no longer a way to contact Pinterest with issues.

Twitter is often thought as a backdoor way to get more traditional companies to finally respond to questions and issues. In Pinterest’s case, it doesn’t work.

Facebook

Despite their one million plus fans on Facebook, Pinterest rarely uses this venue to even update users on changes to the site. Pinterest has only provide two updates on their wall (granted both are in 2012), and despite 500+ comments with each update, no one at Pinterest followed up on any questions or issues.

Pinterest making user issues a priority.

I called Pinterest to get a comment on their overall approach to communicating with users and their new use of Zendesk, but given the topic we are discussing, it wasn’t surprising to find their voice mail box was full. Pinterest has done an amazing job with their product. They focused on what was, and is important: creating a great user experience. While it would be great if they took calls from reporters and writers, we really don’t matter as much as users. The vast majority of users never have any issues with the service and don’t even realize that Pinterest is unresponsive to questions. Only when user have a serious issue do they realize that they really have no options to resolve it. Hopefully Pinterest’s use of Zendesk will provide some remedy to the previous lack of communication options.