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Auto-DM = Auto Dump; but why?



The End of an Era?

I am not sure what knuckle-head came up with the ability for Twitter users to automatially direct message those who follow them, but they really could have used their skillset elsewhere.  The entire premise of social media is personal interaction.  But what I don’t want to do is preview and follow someone, only to get junk mail in return.  

I lament the days of old (you know 12-18 months ago) when I first got involved in Twitter and had a great core of folks who were also finding their way through this venue.  Now everyone seems to be solely engaging the system, with the desire to skip right past the relationship building and mutual sharing, and go right to “hey come buy my project”.  That “come buy my project” is the first interaction we get, right after “will you follow me?”  My new answer is NO.  If you send me an automatic message, than that’s a great sign that you don’t get it and your intent is not to share with peers.  

I’m starting to wonder if the system is becoming tainted and exactly how long it will be before I just revert to Facebook to share…


There have been countless posts done about the power of networking and Twitters ability to build connections.  When I said that I lament those connections, I meant it.  Twitter was a lot of fun with 40 core followers.  I still feel like I have a good connection with them and it has transcended to IRL meetups and national friendships.  None of these meetings or friendships would I trade for anything.  

I was goofing around on Twitter Mosaic recently and noticed that some of my earlier followers are no longer really engaging Twitter.  I wonder why, but remember that lots of people start things and don’t stick with them.  However, the real revelation is how many of these folks I’ve met with and have helped or been helped by.  Lots of these early connections are still engaging and being engaged.  

Converstaion generates conversation.  I’ve noticed that coming in and promoting a post I dugg up somewhere is ok, but to actually check in on people, joke around and share is where the real power of this venue lies.

New Twitter Wishlist?

I wish that Twitter would help those of us out, who really want a more pure interaction.  It’d be great if the e-mail sent notifying us of new followers had their bio’s in the e-mail, along with last post and the follower, following ratio.  Not that it’s a parameter I would alienate anyone over, but it’d be nice to know when the person join.  

I’ve never been involved just to gain followers, so I have no issue with unfollowing and blocking folks.  I’ve recently decided, after hearing others who are doing it, to unfollow those who send me an auto DM. Of course I have some other parameters, but this is my newest one.

I’ve also added a line to my Twitter bio, letting followers know that I will unfollow after auto-DMs.

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  1. Clint Miller

    February 20, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I cant stand auto-DMs. I unfollowed someone just this week for sending me an auto DM asking me to download their “free gift” for following them. The gift??? A lead generation toolkit!! That is irony right there. 😉

  2. Paula

    February 20, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Right before you published this, I was reading you can block auto DM’s through Social Too. I read it in Twitter – seems many folks don’t like the auto DM.

  3. Matt Stigliano

    February 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Matthew – I had an auto-DM recently telling me to introduce myself – I had been speaking to this person directly just that afternoon on Twitter. It didn’t make sense at all. I don’t always remember to give people “thanks for the follow” messages and sometimes I don’t because I want to see if they’re worth following for awhile or not, but when I do, they are typed in letter by letter.

    Clint – That is pretty ironic. You should have taken him up on the offer. A little comparison sales for you to give you something to show why you’re better than the others.

  4. Vance Shutes

    February 20, 2009 at 6:42 pm


    I’m with you, all the way. Those auto-DM systems are a major turn-off, though I haven’t (yet) unfollowed someone because of them. It really all comes down to the value and significance of their tweetstream. It’s fun to DM back to a new followed person with a snide comment to shut off their auto-DM. THAT has brought some interesting replies, to be sure!

  5. Michelle DeRepentigny

    February 20, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I got an auto DM asking me to introduce myself also from someone I was following because I was intrigued by a blog post he had put up. Well he wasn’t following me and so I could not DM him back, even though he intruded on what I consider my personal space – my cell phone 🙂

    I was annoyed enough that I un-followed him.

  6. Will

    February 20, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    At the same time, the auto DM can be an effective tool if used correctly. Have you followed @nik_nik of That’s an auto-DM I don’t mind receiving (no spoiler alerts here).

  7. Missy Caulk

    February 21, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Twitter has changed. Or maybe I followed too many people. But, not sure what to do except unfollow.

    Oh well, I’m sure someone will come up with a plan like you described.

    Actually that is how I track who is following me, I look at the latest DM and then decide if I want to follow back.

    Also set up a rule in Mail to keep the requests from interupting my day.

  8. Carolyn G-Tu

    February 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I agree – auto dm is auto-dumb in my opinion.

    I wonder if as people who have used twitter for a longer time have less patience with new users – I have a hard time with the concept of following hundreds of people – just now hit 100 that I’m following although there are close to 600 following me. I know I’m missing out on interacting with some really interesting people – I’m trying to branch out a bit more.

  9. Linda Davis

    February 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I miss the good old days of Twitter. Some days I don’t even recognize the people on my screen. My own fault for following too many but the Italian Catholic in me made me follow back when asked. Otherwise I’d feel guilty. I did get to meet you through Twitter and for that I’m grateful.

  10. Linsey

    March 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I’m one of those that has become less active on Twitter. Too much noise. I’ve followed too many and frankly, it’s lost some of the appeal because of that. I know I could do a bit better with Tweetdeck. It’s on the To Do list.

    As for auto DM’s – I just don’t see the point and it’s usually an immediate turn off for me.

  11. Rocky VanBrimmer

    June 23, 2009 at 7:18 am

    The Auto DM’s are getting lame. I was just remembering the other day how we use to pick on @Gotbob!

    Good point as always Matt.

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.



Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.



Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?


Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.



social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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