twitter

Twitter highlights websites that embed tweets

Twitter is rolling out a new display feature that highlights websites that have embedded tweets.

Quick revision here, if you’ve never embedded a tweet before it’s really simple. Just head to Twitter.com, find the tweet you want to embed, click “…more” at the end there and select “Embed Tweet” to get the code:

Now once you’ve done that, whenever people view the Tweet that you’ve embedded in their Twitter feed they’re going to start seeing this:

Why do I like this? Firstly because I hope this will encourage people to actually start using the proper “Embed Tweet” feature rather than screengrabbing a Tweet to appear in their articles. This is better for download speeds, rendering on mobile and is just the right way to do it. Then secondly, and more importantly, it’s going to help give kudos to certain Tweets as the more trusted and relevant sites are that have embedded it, the more likely you will be to read it.

This is rolling out now, so you may not see it right away but start thinking about how you can use this feature to you and your customer’s benefit.

Oh and as a test, here’s an embedded Tweet about this article about embedding Tweets that links to this article about embedding Tweets (makes me want to watch ‘Inception’…).

‘Hey someone is making up shocking posts…’ Twitter spam

If you receive a Direct Message on Twitter saying “hey someone is making up shocking posts that are about you…” (or similar) it’s SPAM and you shouldn’t click on the link.

It looks like this, I’ve received 2 instances from seperate accounts in the last 12 hours:

On both occasions the message was sent as a Direct Message not a @mention and the link is a bit.ly style link that doesn’t reveal its source until clicked.

The best course of action, as is always the case if you’re not sure, is to DELETE the DM and politely inform the holder of the account that they should update their password.

UPDATE: It appears once the account has been compromised the bot sends out tweets from it like this:

Best course of action in this case is simply to ignore that Tweet.

Find available screen names and how to update your twitter username

Sometimes you just need to change your online identity. Maybe you’ve recently changed your real name, or you’re being hounded by spam, or perhaps you’re just after fresh start. Whatever the reason, here are 3 tips for how to find that perfect new handle:

1) Twitter > Edit your account

Twitter allows you to check availability of a username in your account settings on its own website.

Click to your profile page, click the “Edit your profile” button then the “Account” link from the left and you’ll see the “Username” box above. Here you can type in new usernames and Twitter will instantly tell you if it’s available.

2) Name generator sites

Stuck for what to call yourself though? No problem – name generator sites can help. SpinXO (pictured left) is one of the best that I’ve found as it allows you to type in your interests, keywords and “must have” words and then generates options based on that.

You can then click on the name(s) that interest you and check their availability.

3) Name checker websites

But what happens if you’re after the same username that you can use across multiple sites? It can be cumbersome to go to each social media site individually and check using their own tools.

A better way is to use a site like namechk.com or checkusernames.com which let you type in your username and search availability across every social media site you can think of in one go.

Good luck with updating your identity online, let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own.

Our Top 3 Twitter Tips – how to be a better Tweeter

I don’t want to tell you how to get followers on Twitter, nobody can truly tell you how to do that, but here are our top 3 tips for how to use Twitter more effectively:

1) Make Some Noise

The first thing to do when you’ve got a Twitter account is to actually use it. If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating the account and telling your fans/customers about it they’re going to want to hear what you’ve got to say. Sounds obvious but it’s surprising the number of Twitter accounts that are setup and grow a fanbase but then go quiet, so make sure if you’re on Twitter you do actually post Tweets.

2) Make Relevant Noise

Then if you’re going to follow tip #1 and start Tweeting make sure it’s relevant. If you’ve setup an account for your business it might not be a good idea to tell your followers what you had for breakfast. It’s better to post fewer Tweets that are very relevant to your subject matter than to post lots of Tweets of which some are relevant and some of which are way off topic. People generally prefer subject matter experts than someone who simply has an opinion on everything.

3) Don’t Make Too Much Noise

Finally, once you’ve got a fanbase and your Tweets are going down well with your audience don’t flood their screens. However interesting and relevant your content is sometimes less is more. Unless you have a time-critical piece of information to share you might want to think about staggering your posts to avoid becoming too ‘spammy’. The simplest way to monitor this is to keep an eye on your account when you’re posting more frequently than usual and see if you’re actually starting to lose followers as a result.

Twitter tweet spam, fake mentions and a killer cheesecake

Another day, another group of unsavoury users sending me tweet spam. This time it’s the ‘fake mention from someone you’ve never heard of’ trick. Here’s an example of one I received earlier today:

Hmm, I wonder what @burkstyhnq2 is sending me, I mean she sent it to me specifically so it must be important. And at first glance she looks like the lovely Mumsy-type who wouldn’t hurt a fly. I bet she bakes cheesecakes at weekends, attends village fetes and just wants to send me a link to her latest recipe, right?

WRONG!

I’m sure the person pictured IS perfectly lovely but their image has unwittingly become the face of tweet spam.

Shame on you spammers, no cheesecake for you tonight.

And this is where you should remember spam rule #1 – if you’re not sure don’t click on the link. You never know where it might take you or worse still what it might prompt you to start downloading.

But here’s a trick for how to really tell if it’s spam or not. Don’t click on the bit.ly link, but instead click on the username to bring up their profile. In most cases I would guess that you’d see something similar to the screenshot on the left, line after line of the same message you’ve just received.

Look down the list and you will probably find yourself, one of many twitter users who’ve been sent a bit of spam from @burkstyhnq2 today.

So this is where you remember spam rule #2 – ignore it, walk away, don’t click on the link, don’t reply (you don’t want them to know you’ve seen their link and therefore have an active account). Better still, open up a new tab, go to taste.com.au and try their strawberry cheesecake recipe this weekend and think about all the spammers you’ve got the better of as you bite into your first slice.

Happy baking.

Facebook launch new sidebar for chat to a mixed twitter response

Facebook launched a new update to their chat system today. However it seems that the feedback on Twitter has been less about the cool new video chat functionlity that they’re offering and more of a backlash against the new ‘sidebar’ layout.

Here are a couple of examples:

I don’t understand this new sidebar thing on Facebook. Why does it only show random friends and not all the friends who are online in chat?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


Um, what’s with this stupid new “sidebar” in facebook and how can I get rid of it again?!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

Some users just want to get rid of it altogether but can’t find how to turn the sidebar off:

Facebook have changed their chat interface to a pretty horrible, always-on, sidebar.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

It is a little fiddly to find admittedly, but to turn the sidebar off you need to click the ‘settings’ wheel at the very bottom right of the screen and choose ‘Hide Sidebar’.

But amongst all the negative feedback currently being posted, some customers like @mlw05 have been through big changes like this before:

It’s funny how everyone will absolutely hate the new #facebook sidebar, until the next day when they get used to it like every other updateless than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet Reply

Let us know what you think here on the blog or tweet us @fly_digital

Twitter adds real-time URL shortening to twitter.com

Regular users of twitter will be pleased to hear there is no need to paste a link into bit.ly, tinyurl or whatever your preferred URL shortener is anymore now that twitter have added similar functionality to their own website.

Here’s how it works. Typing a tweet via twitter.com is exactly the same, however when you add a URL twitter does a few new things. Firstly the URL is highlighted and a new “Link will appear shortened” message appears next to the tweet button. Then twitter recalculates the number of characters you have remaining after the tweet will be shortened on the fly. Here’s an example:

See how I’ve posted a long link into the tweet and added copy before and after it. The total length in characters of that tweet would have been 255 but Twitter has calculated how short the URL will be once shortened and allows you to write additional copy until the newly calculated character count reaches 0.

This is how the tweet looks when posted:

A useful addition to the website. Now I wonder when image uploads will be included so we can take twitpic.com out of our bookmarks…