Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tweets from Public Twitter Accounts to be Used for "Market Research Purposes"

Rich Twitter birdIf you have a public Twitter account, prepare to have your tweets packaged and sold to companies to analyze for “market research purposes.”

According to the BBC, Twitter has partnered up with DataSift in order to provide companies with the ability to rifle through tweets that date as far back as two years ago to help “plan marketing campaigns, target influential users or even try to predict certain events.”

The idea behind this, of course, is for Twitter to earn money by charging DataSift licensing fees.

Before today, DataSift customers were only able to search the last 30-days’ worth of tweets. By comparison, regular Twitter users were limited to only being able to search tweets from the last 7 days.

An estimated 250 million tweets are recorded and analyzed by DataSift every 24 hours. That collected data includes the location of the user – unless they’ve taken the time to visit their account settings page and delete all location data from their tweets – and an estimate of their social media influence, which is partly based off their Klout score.

There is some silver lining to this story, though: deleted tweets or tweets posted on “private” accounts are not included in the archive provided by DataSift.

If you’re not cool with the idea of your tweets being used for “marketing research purposes” then it’s time for you to either make your Twitter account private or stop using it altogether.

How to Make Your Twitter Account "Private"

  1. Visit your account settings page by clicking on the person icon at the top right of the page and selecting "Settings" from the drop-down menu.

  2. Scroll down to the "Tweet privacy" section and check the box next to "Protect my tweets."

  3. Save your changes.

[via BBC News]

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