Recurring Tweets On Twitter Accounts Have Been Discontinued

On Monday, October 12th, 2009, Twitter communicated to us that recurring tweets are in violation of their Terms of Service. Twitter’s rationale centered around the potential for recurring tweets to result in duplicate tweets.

The content of the communication is extracted for your benefit below:

Recurring Tweets are a violation no matter how they are done, including whether or not someone pays you to have a special privilege. We don’t want to see any duplicate tweets whatsoever- They pollute Twitter, and tools shouldn’t be given to enable people to break the rules. Spinnable text seems to just be a way to bypass the rules against duplicate updates and essentially provides the same problems.

Hence, from Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 00:00 AM CST we will prevent are preventing the entry of recurring tweets on Twitter accounts within the SocialOomph system. Existing recurring tweets on Twitter accounts will all be placed have all been placed in paused state at that time, so that the content of the tweet text is still accessible to you, but no publishing to Twitter of those tweets will take is taking place.

Recurring tweets scheduled for other social services are not affected by this change. Other scheduled tweets are also not affected by this change.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, but it is important to us to keep our system in good standing with Twitter.

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107 thoughts on “Recurring Tweets On Twitter Accounts Have Been Discontinued

  1. Keith O Hudson

    I think most of your posters miss the point. Twitter wants to eliminate duplicate tweets whether posted automatically OR manually. They think that they should decide what is an acceptable way to use Twitter and what is unacceptable (which I can't quibble with, since they are paying for bandwidth and servers, and not charging me anything) , whether or not they have clearly defined it in advance — which I definitely DO take exception to. They published a set of TOS long ago that they do not make available when you sign up, which they use to shut accounts down later. The 'No duplicate tweets' ruke has apparently been in their "hidden" TOS for some time, so this is not a change of the rules, just finally admitting it is one of their rules.

  2. drd4U

    Twitter is a funny social agent – if they continue down this boring path – they'll never achieve the levels of success that E-Bay, Amazon.com and other giants of communicative excellence have- Twitter needs to listen to those who are in fact, the friggin' industry; and wake up! I've learned amazing things OFF RECURRING ads, so called, adverbs and the people who run them who it's been my privilege to meet. As a man with two doctorate degrees, and a masters in computer information systems, I'd like to go on record as saying that I believe Twitter is being not only supercilious in their approach to their server problems, and obvious bandwidth programming problems, but they are laying a lot of misery on some wonderful folks who have done their best to be supportive. Personally I'd love to see someone move "Off Campus" with a "TWIT KNOCK OFF" and show them how to do it without resorting to fascist legalism being imposed on their capitalist base.

  3. Keith O Hudson

    Twitter's apparent hostility to commercial use of their service seems to be based on a philosophy that twitter should be for two way conversations between individuals and/or small groups. One-way conversations where someone broadcasts to large groups of followers seems to be discouraged, as evidenced by their rule against duplicate tweets, and the 2,000 follower limit.

    What is confusing is Twitter's encouragement of large followings for certain users of twitter (check out who they sign you up to follow if you accept the defaults when you create a new twitter account — they all have several hundred thousand followers already). Are they merely being hypocritical, or are they gearing up to monetize their service in some unforeseen way?

  4. Debra

    I think it is great that people I follow will not be able to send me the same old message over and over again. In fact, if they do, I stop following so for me this is a great step! I use scheduled tweets but never used recurring tweets as the whole point is to provide up to the minute info. If it is coming in over and over again, how is this up to the minute? I for one welcome the change as I think it is rude to be bombarded with the same things over and over again. Maybe it's just me :)

  5. @virtualgina

    after reading all of this I still have a question: if the recurring tweets are set to be sent using the spin feature whcih allows you to set up a slightly different version of the same tweet, will these also be affected? or is the culprit only an exact repeat of a tweet? if the answer is no, then we should be able to use the spin feature in the recurring model but will just have to add as many versions as number of recurrences? makes sense or am I way of base here?

  6. @tssinews

    Twitter has ignored an obvious point and raises a couple of important questions.

    (1) We have a global audience and used the recurring feature to inform readers in different parts of the world. As it happens, Eastern New Zealand is on an exact 24 hour offset from the US Eastern Zone. Everything else splits the diference (coming and going). The effect of Twitter's ban is to force manual effort by users.

    Fortunately, we have other tools (RSS, mail list, etc.), so we are not solely dependent on Twitter quirks and turns to communicate.

    (2) A great many commenters have expressed many of my own frustrations with Twitter. However, please let me point out that they have a genuine problem with spammers, porn shops, and/or intrusive marketing efforts. They are dealing with this via brute force.

    It makes me wonder how a startup can get into a third round of funding and still have a rather unsophisticated infrastructure. How, exactly, do they spend their time (and dollars)? It appears to me they are killing the goose "before" it gets a chance to lay golden eggs. Instead, they just lay eggs.

    (3) I am glad SocialOomph has indicated a more wide-ranging understanding of one-to-many communications via social networking. At this point I am more interested in what SO has in store.

  7. Bob Spear

    My concern is when I invite a following relationship on MrTweet, it goes out as a tweet. I generally invite between 10 to 30 people to follow with the same message for each. I presume that won't be allowed anymore. Has anyone heard anything about situations like this?

  8. stevepohlit

    One solution to this issue is fully disclosed with the announcement. While a total pain in the ass because of having to redo work we have done, nevertheless it works.

  9. Ken Lind

    I've read about half this blog and I didn't see anyone making any effort to provide a possible answer. Well I have one… I would like to see Socialoomph allow us to post a list of tweets similar to the way we used to post recurring tweets and schedule them. As each tweet is posted to twitter, it simply disappears from the list and when the scheduled time comes the next tweet is posted. This way there are no recurring tweets and when all the tweets from a given list are depleted, the can simply submit another list. This way Socialoomph still provides a great service and can be in compliance with Twitter rules and regulations. No recurring tweets.

    Ken

  10. Randolf

    I've had my account shut down – "under investigation" now for 2 weeks. I'm not a spammer and all of my tweets referred back to blog or my website or other news links. I wanted to be helpful and contribute but got busted for doing good instead of trying to sell crap all day. No one will respond at Twitter and my account appears to be wiped out – not sure since I can get ! Guess I'm screwed.

  11. stevepohlit

    In testing this evening I noticed a duplicate text message directly from Twitter. First time I have ever noticed that.

  12. shaun

    If I schedule a tweet to go off every day t lets say 1pm, wouldnt that be a recurring tweet? would twitter get mad if I had the same tweet go out the same day at 1pm?

  13. @VascoRossy

    Wouldn't it be good to build a new tool that checks out recurring tweets in order to postpone at least easily various tweets for the next couple of days?

    1. socialoomph Post author

      Unfortunately that is not feasible. It will amount to us assisting people to migrate to other services that still provide recurring tweets on Twitter accounts, which are against Twitter's terms of service. It's only a matter of time before they will have to comply with the Twitter Tos, whether voluntarily or through Twitter completely shutting off their access to the Twitter API.

  14. outpost54

    as a software developer, it would be very good to build a new and better service other than twitter. in two years twitter may very well be the next "alta vista" if they keep this up… LOL

  15. Florence

    Same here, Al. That was exactly my reasonfor upgrading and it was a great time saver! I find this very disappointing on Twitter' part! All they need to do is set clear rules about recurring tweets. What it real means is that the poor guy workign his butt off to get out a good product on a small budget is going to suffer. Others with crappy stff but a higher budget will just pay people to "pollute" Twitter.

  16. Pam

    Vicki – I use Twitter & Social Oomph in EXACTLY the same manner as you. What chance do I have, when I post a link to a new blog post that many will see it for the few seconds it's at the top of their feed? I retweet in exactly the same manner, with plenty of recurring motivational quotes (always rotating; you are unlikely to see the same quote twice in the same week). I've blocked and unfollowed spammers – no one's forcing you to follow anyone!

    How are you handling this?

  17. djtechnasty

    EXACTLY! I don't understand why Twitter is unknowingly hurting themselves, and businesses like TweetLater that are potential employers, and hero's to this disabled economy.

    RE: Vicki Berry —> If someone doesn't like what they see they can unfollow me or ignore it, but I am not spamming as I have been the recipient of many times (a direct message or @ reply that clutters up my feed with obvious product sales pitches).

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