Twam: The Reality of Twitter Spam Author: Eric Everson, MBA, MSIT-SE
Twitter has become a global phenomenon and there is no doubt that everyone from small businesses to the world’s largest corporations have taken notice. While it can be fun to get the latest tweets from your friends and family, getting the up to the minute scoop from companies using Twitter to advertise might not be exactly what you signed on for.
Twam – the new buzz word for “Twitter spam”, coined by Airwide Solutions, is growing in popularity. In fact a recent study indicates that already over ten percent of all Twitter traffic has become “twam” that for many of us is hitting our mobile handsets at an unwelcoming rate. This week the Mobile World Congress event is in full swing in Barcelona, Spain and there is one company taking a pretty major stand against twam.
As far as my research indicates, the phrase “twam” was coined by Airwide Solutions, which interestingly is also the same company that claims to have sent the world’s first text message. How befitting that text messaging is becoming the new wave of tweeting. This very company is giving demos at the Mobile World Congress event that certainly should not be missed. If you want to learn how to really block this surge of twam, it is my humble opinion, that this company has the answers that the industry is looking for.
Though many handsets are being introduced into the market with improved processing capabilities, the overwhelming number of legacy handsets in use today far exceeds the iPhones and Droids of the world. With that realization, it is easy to recognize what a popular role SMS (text messaging) is playing as the world continues to embrace and enjoy using Twitter. What has been fascinating to me lately is the number of people that are tweeting on behalf of the companies they support. MyMobiSafe.com for example does not even have an established twitter account, yet tweets keep getting generated about our new MyMobiSafe Verified services. As a business owner I am fascinated by this, it’s like free marketing just because people identify with your brand.
On the other hand, I realize that even though I have not sent a single twitter message about my company, these tweets might be somebody’s twam. We are entering new territory here where sharing something exciting about an innovative is contributing to the rising occurrence of twam. It makes me ask, is it really twam or simply the digital version of word of mouth?
From introducing new parental controls to manage this kind of content to putting filters in place, the service providers must certainly take notice of this rising new phenomenon too. Until they do however, feel free to tweet about my company too, we love that so many people want to help us spread the word!