Twitter is committed to fighting the ongoing problems of spam, bots, harassment and misinformation that has plagued the social platform for years. Today, in its overall positive first-quarter earnings report, the company announced that last quarter's changes to TweetDeck and its API – two of the most common spam vectors on Twitter – have been translated into real numbers Overall, Quality of Service Improvements
According to figures released to investors in the company's letter, API access was revoked for 142,000 apps that make up 130 million tweets; and there are now 90 percent fewer accounts using TweetDeck to create junk tweets.
Twitter's new changes did not take effect until March 23, and the earnings report covers only activity for the three months ending March 30 for just one week of activity. In other words, the effect is likely to be significant in the longer term.
The TweetDeck status, which covers 90 percent fewer users who use TweetDeck to create false information and spam, is both a result of changes to TweetDeck and a new and more proactive approach taken by Twitter.
In February, Twitter stopped automating mass retransmission – or TweetDecking, as it's called by some – in which power users turned to TweetDeck to retweet posts of masses of accounts they managed or smaller user groups of people who manage masses of accounts – a technique that helps make the tweet viral. A few weeks later, a number of accounts were oweed that were due to the practice.
The policies and enforcement of the company's API have also been tightened. The 142,000 applications that are no longer associated with the API accounted for no less than 130 million "low quality tweets". It's a stand-alone volume, but given the Twitter model, it's even more effective as it has triggered a series of interactions and retweets outside those spam accounts that are immortalized by individuals. As with TweetDeck, the API changes were part of the larger overhaul Twitter made around automation and multiple accounts.
It's an Interesting Turn for the Enterprise: Given the massive action-tweeting abuses, it's a wonder why Twitter has ever allowed. Perhaps it was one of those ill-conceived moments in which Twitter thought it would help with traffic and activity on the site at a time when it needed to demonstrate growth and perhaps only bring more activity to the platform when it was smaller. In any case, this seems to be just the beginning as Twitter hopes to lift the tone and generally make his platform a safer and prettier place. "Our systems identify millions of suspicious accounts globally each week as a result of our sustained investment in improving the quality of information on Twitter," the company said.
There are also some interesting plans in the pipeline. The company has recently made a "health kick" and has been trying to collect suggestions on how to increase trust and security and reduce abuse and spam on the platform. An RFP issued to stakeholders – and anyone interested in helping – has delivered 230 responses from "global institutions," the company said. "We expect to receive important updates in the second quarter, and we are determined to continue to share our progress along this path."
We listen to the result webcast and will update with more information on how we hear it