Saturday, December 20, 2008

Automated Twitter via Twautor (Gets You Banned)

Auto-twitter via TwautorDespite the unpronounceable name and confusing grammar here and there on the interface, Twautor is a useful service that will get you a lot of followers on Twitter in a short period of time, if that is what you are after. UPDATE - using this service got my Twitter account suspended and it is now under review. Hopefully they will be kind enough to reinstate me. Tread with care.

It allows you to do several things:

  • Auto-follow people based on keywords they use in their tweets, limited to five keywords you select.
  • Auto-respond to Twitter users who add you, with a boilerplate tweet.
  • Auto-reply to "people who add you to twitter". (I think this means automatically send a reply any time anyone references your username with the @username syntax, but I am not sure.)
  • Tweet at specific times in the near future.
  • Have Twautor tweet new entries in your RSS feed.

My Observations after a Day with Twautor

I have used Twautor over the last day, and got a bunch of new followers based on the keywords I selected: Japan, iPhone, Bike, Cycling. Anytime someone used one of those words, my Twautor auto-followed them for me and sent this tweet:

Thanks for adding me. My site is , I've been in Japan 21 years, and I like photography, cycling, drumming & the web.

That tweet sent, some of the people I added, added me back in return. After that, I sent messages (manually, of course) to everyone saying hello from Japan and so on. I managed to irritate some people at first because I mistakenly enabled "auto reply" in Twautor, but I had nothing in the reply box. Twautor was dutifully replying for me, with an empty tweet! Sorry about that. Also, because it auto-follows accounts for you, you end up with a bunch of news bots as well. I went through and blocked any of those I did not want to see, so I have to say the automatic approach is a bit "shotgun".

Twautor is an interesting and useful service. I hope the author of Twautor will clean up the grammar in the interface to make the descriptions a little more precise, but I am enjoying the ability to find people who might have something in common easily.

Update - Oops. Using Twautor got me suspended! Tread with care.

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