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This article was published on September 6, 2010

After a Twitter revolt, makes its auto-tweets less spammy

After a Twitter revolt, makes its auto-tweets less spammy

“Twitter newspaper” service has changed the way its promotional tweets work after high profile Twitter users accused them of being little more than spam.

In case you’re unfamiliar with it, a service that organises links from the people you follow on Twitter into a ‘newspaper-style’ web page. It can create a daily newspaper from any Twitter user, List or hashtag.

A nice idea, but its automatic tweets have proved a major annoyance for many. Tweets like “The John Smith Daily is out – featuring @user, @AnotherUser and @SomeoneElse” have become especially irritating for Twitter users with many followers. Why? Well, popular TV comedy writer Graham Linehan summed up the problem yesterday. Over a number of tweets he wrote:

“Guys, the Daily Newspaper thing…is there something in settings where you can remove our usernames from the notifications? …it’s all very flattering, but it’s rendering my @replies stream unusable. Getting almost as many tweets hating on the Daily Newspapers as I’m getting Daily Newspapers.”

Robert Scoble decried the tweets as “Spam” while our own Editor in Chief, Zee summed up his own frustration succinctly:

“die die.”

It’s easy to understand the annoyance of all your Twitter replies being mentions in online newspapers. Now the people behind, SmallRivers, have acted to quell the bad feeling by changing their promotional tweets.

On the blog today they write:

“We hear the complaints, and are looking into ways to satisfy users while reducing the spammy feeling for others. We are thus testing a new type of tweet. It doesn’t just say a daily is out – it shares the top story of the day. We believe such a tweet clearly conveys more interesting info for followers. It is quite close to a retweet really – so something that basically says: “this is relevant for me and the group of people I follow – you should probably read it too”.

Here’s what the new default tweet looks like, so all those people annoyed by their Twitter streams clogging up should be satisfied – Twitter username mentions in the tweets are no more.

The tweets are opt in, so auto-tweeting should be kept to a minimum and if they still annoy you, it’s the user, not the service that you can direct your anger at.

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