Friday, May 29, 2009

Why You Need to Modify Your @ Reply

On May 11 Twitter removed the ability to see @ replies from your Followers to another Follower that you do not currently follow (confused?). If I followed @someone and @someone replied to @sometwo I will no longer receive the Tweet from @someone in my Twitter stream since I myself do not follow @sometwo. There was quite an uproar about the removal of this reply setting. It was a great way to find and connect with new people as well as gain additional followers. This is only affected when the @ reply is at the beginning of the Tweet. There has been a trend of using the ".@" reply so that everyone sees your replies. It is recommended that you use the ".@" reply until Twitter remedies the issue.

Read the blog threads on the official Twitter blog about this issue.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Twitter Squatter - How To Handle a Sqwitter

I was recently asked about how to obtain a Twitter account that uses a company name as their Twitter user name. A Twitter Squatter or Squitter, can be handle through several steps, but the Twitter Squatter account needs to meet certain criteria laid out by Twitter's Terms of Service and Rules.
  • Attempting to sell or extort other forms of payment in exchange for user names will result in account suspension. Now this has been circumvented by @cnnbrk, where CNN hired the account holder as a "consultant" and had him transfer his account to CNN (see article).
  • If an account has been inactive for six months Twitter "may" remove the account. They state that they will not released the removed account unless their is a case of infringement. Twitter notes just because an account has no updates or no profile picture or has not shown any intent to mislead does not constitute infringement.
  • Account was created using a news feed from a third party. If someone is Twitter Squatting on your company name using your news feed, you may be entitled to that user name.

To report Twitter Squatting send a reply to @twitter with the user name of the squatter. They strongly suggest using the word "squatter" in your tweet for a faster response to the Sqwitter.

Another suggestion is to actually start following the Sqwitter account. Once you have started to follow them, I would try and send a reply to the account to start the conversation of acquiring the account.

Here is information on Twitter's Trademark Policy:

  • Using a company business name, logo, or trademark protected material in a manner to mislead or confuse may be considered trademark infringement. If this is the case then you need to submit a support ticket Twitter via their support form (will need a Twitter account to log in).