Bye-bye, stock messages
If you’ve ever followed someone on Twitter and received an automated stock message, you might love what Rufus is doing. Or, it might be your worst nightmare.
Rufus calls itself a smart Twitter greeter, and pulls content from users’ recent tweets and Twitter bios to craft automated custom messages to send to new followers. Rather than generic messages, Twitter users can now send automated call-to-actions or customized notes that may give businesses at little bit less of an automatic feel.
Blurring the lines
The obvious hesitation with a startup like Rufus is that it may make Twitter even more automated, a far step from the direct user to business interactions that some purists still admire it for.
With major companies like Uber, Amazon and Microsoft providing direct customer support via Twitter direct message, we may be blurring the lines between direct contact and automated messages.
The seemingly customized message directly responding to a recent Tweet may no longer actually have been written for you, and that certainly will anger some users.
Authentic or just less fake?
Still, perhaps even worse than the illusion of authenticity is the the flow of fake, automated “Thank you for following” messages that flow into Twitter and Instagram inboxes. With Rufus, even if the first message is still automated, real conversations may follow.
The company’s website provides two examples of possible uses, which are targeted at an HR manager and a recruiter. One responds to a previously used hashtag, pointing the new follower to a relevant blog post based on the keywords, and the second pulls the users’ career as a recruiter from his bio and starts a conversation about using social media for his work.
Other applications could be much broader though, like a band automatically messaging new followers about upcoming shows in a certain city, or an elected official sending messages about issues based on a user’s recent politically-focused Tweets. Rufus may need to continue to build out their keyword matching and engagement methods for these new applications to work, but the options are close to endless.
Rufus currently has three payment options, ranging from $10 to $59 a month and allowing for up to 12 message templates per profile. Some businesses will still prefer to write messages by hand, but if you’re tired of sending the same message to all your new followers, Rufus may be an option worth considering.
The perks are definitely there for businesses and brands; the only question is how will potential customers respond.