Category Archives: Twitter

Beware Of Fake Twitter Phishing Email

Fake Twitter Email ScreenshotNormally I wouldn’t make a blog post about a phishing email, but tonight I received one that didn’t get caught by Gmail’s spam filter. It had me believing it was real since I hadn’t seen phishing email pretending to be Twitter before.

The email was supposedly from the address “support@twitter.com” telling me my account was suspended for excessive following. You can see a screenshot the email to the right.

While I knew I hadn’t recently followed a bunch of people, I thought maybe someone had hacked my account and followed people and that the email might be legit, until I read that I needed to click a link to “complete some offers” for to avoid account suspension.

Further examination revealed the link to be “http://mexico.cnn.com/redirectComplete.php?url=//bit%2Ely/ouvgwt” which redirects to “http://emailus.it.tc/” where you can see offers to complete.

Obviously, not from Twitter. Beware.

Google Plus Rapid Growth: Will It Last?

Google Plus growth screenshotThe above graph was created by Leon Haland and featured on Techcrunch Europe.

The tech media has been all over the rapid growth of Google’s social network Google Plus. Many have assumed that this rapid rise means that Google Plus is on it’s way to be a serious competitor Facebook and Twitter.

After my usage of Google Plus so far both sharing and reading, it’s definitely a solid product that does some things better and some things worse than other social tools.

However, I’ve yet to feel like it’s on it’s way to truly competing with Facebook or Twitter.

I think the graph above has been caused by the following:

  • Familiarity with Social Networking - A larger number of people are now familiar with social networking than when Facebook and Twitter launched. They also have more friends and are more connected making it easier to hear about a new social network and decide to go try it out.
  • A Desire For An Alternative - While Facebook and Twitter are massively used, there are a large number of users who don’t love them as products themselves and have the desire for an alternative. Google Plus is really the first serious alternative to launch.
  • Google “Install” Base - So many people already have Google accounts and use Gmail, that it made it super easy to explose Google Plus to users as well as make it easy to intelligently recommend Gmail contacts to invite.

Will Google Plus Keep Growing?

Google Plus was reviewed well by the tech media, and it feels pretty good as a product. However, after a few weeks now I’ve got over a 100 people in my “circles” but the only activity I’m seeing is from about 5-10 people who all have jobs as part of the tech media.

There is literally NO activity from most of my normal friends, many of whom are on the cutting edge of technology and are heavy social network users.

Why is this? I’ve asked a few of them, and the answers tend to be that they don’t know why they should use Google Plus instead of Facebook or Twitter. Their friends aren’t fully there yet, they don’t really feel the need to organize them into circles, and Facebook and Twitter just do a good enough job.

Google’s going to need to do something to differentiate Google Plus even more from those competitors and do something SIGNIFICANTLY better than the competition in order to get people to spend more time there.

It’s definitely possible, but it’s a tough task that won’t be as easy as the initial spike of growth in the graph above.

The Battle Over TweetDeck Isn’t Binary

TweetDeck imagePopular Twitter client Tweetdeck is reported to be in acquisition talks with both UberMedia as well as Twitter itself. For those unfamiliar, UberMedia is a company founded by Idealab’s Bill Gross that has been snapping up different Twitter clients and is rumored to be thinking about starting it’s own rival network to Twitter.

This is an interesting situation for many reasons and Mike Butcher of TechCrunch Europe analyzed what the players are probably thinking right now.

His conclusion is that this is a binary situation where if Twitter fails to buy TweetDeck they will be potentially losing a lot of future revenue or enabling a rival network. Therefore, Twitter must spend what it takes to buy TweetDeck.

I don’t think this situation is so black and white. There are other options and outcomes here, and it’s fun to think through some of this corporate strategy as an outsider.

Here are some other potential outcomes:

TweetDeck Goes It Alone
While most would think that TweetDeck would have to be crazy to not sell now while they have two acquirers feeling that they are key to their futures, there is the option to go it alone.

Why couldn’t TweetDeck go raise more money, take a little off the table for the founders, and either try and build their own Twitter rival or build a sales team and sell ads on their own? Going the acquisition route can obviously be a nice exit, but it also could see their company vision and dream die inside another company.

UberMedia Buys TweetDeck, Twitter Freezes Them Out
Mike Butcher seems to imply that if UberMedia had TweetDeck and all those influential users they’d be able to start their own network successfully or at least put the screws to Twitter to let them sell ads. Why couldn’t Twitter just say “Screw you, the TweetDeck users are more loyal to Twitter itself than TweetDeck.”

While denying TweetDeck users access to Twitter’s network would be seen as a bad PR move and piss off a lot of people, I have a feeling all those TweetDeck power users would move to an alternative client to get access to Twitter.

UberMedia Buys TweetDeck, Twitter Lets them Start a Rival
Again, I wouldn’t assume that if UberMedia started a competitor that people would be more loyal to their client application than they are to all the users on the Twitter.

This might depend on interoperability, but I know that I would ditch TweetDeck for another client if it was only accessing a much smaller network that lacked all the people I was already following and who followed me on Twitter.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I don’t think it’s as simple as “whoever buys TweetDeck wins”. It’s an important piece of the puzzle, but I think there are more layers here than instant winning and losing based on who grabs it.

Twitter Goes to the Darkside?

Darth Vader (motion-blur fixed)photo © 2009 Andres Rueda | more info (via: Wylio)
In a very aggressive move today, Twitter suspended UberTwitter and Twidroyd, two Twitter clients owned by UberMedia.
Read More …