It looks like TweetAdder, the popular Twitter software that many internet marketers use to build their Twitter following, could be coming to an end. Well, to be more specific, it seems like the end of the script as we know it.
I discussed TweetAdder briefly in my article “The Art of Following“. It is an application that I have used to build the following of several Twitter accounts for websites I own. The script has its pros and cons. Despite being actively updated on a regular basis, the application crashes on a daily basis. I usually have to reload it two or three times during the day. It’s a minor inconvenience, though it can be frustrating at times because you are left thinking the application is still running when it actually crashed an hour beforehand.
When I loaded it up today I saw an update message advising that I have a day left to update from TweetAdder 3.0 to TweetAdder 4.0. A quick look on their blog confirms that they notified everyone of this update on 23 April 2013, however I did not receive any email about it.
The update is a result of a legal dispute between Twitter and the developers of TweetAdder. As a result of the settlement, the software no longer permits you to follow and unfollow users. This, afterall, is the sole reason everyone purchased TweetAdder, but there is not much a company can do when a billion dollar behemoth sues your ass for everything you’ve got.
Here is the message in full:
Twitter and TweetAdder have mutually agreed upon a final confidential settlement of their legal dispute regarding TweetAdder Software.
TweetAdder Version 3.0 and all prior versions of TweetAdder will no longer be available or supported as of 4/26/2013.
All current TweetAdder users will be required to upgrade to the new version of TweetAdder 4.0 by May 24, 2013. As a reminder, TweetAdder users must comply with Twitter’s Terms of Service.
We are excited to provide new services to Twitter users and deliver an innovative solution for businesses and individuals to manage their accounts.
TweetAdder 4.0 has been designed to comply with all of Twitter’s Terms of Service.
Auto Follow and Unfollow have been removed to comply with Twitter’s TOS in order to continue offering the program.
4.0 Feature Set
-Uses Twitter API and Oauth
-Removed Automated @Reply, Tweet Generator, Scheduled Follow
-Altered some functions to comply with Twitter TOS
-Improved Search Filters (works with all search types)
-Filter Results by:
-Filter Private Accounts
-Filter Accounts with default profile images& More
-View Profile Pics in Results
-New Unfollow filtering options
-Not Following Back
-No Profile Image
-Updated profile data search – up-to-date search results
-Improved White/Black List now supports importing and exporting
While it is easy to assume that TweetAdder4 is less functional because it no longer automatically follows and unfollows, we have carefully developed many new features into the software so that it is actually much more powerful and useful in many ways.
All of the search functions are now much more powerful, and allow you to filter and sort results based on many criteria. The interface is vastly improved, allowing you see pertinent information at a glance, see user icons, and easily find high quality users. The increase in quality greatly outweighs any perceived difference in convenience.
TweetAdder4 also features multiple powerful options for deciding who to unfollow. With previous versions, the only metric was based on if someone followed you back. Now, in addition to that, you can see users who have unfollowed you, who have no profile image, use a foreign language, have a high ratio, are inactive, talkative (spammy users who tweet too often), or quiet (users who are not actively engaged). By unfollowing these lower quality inactive users, and following high quality engaged users, TweetAdder4 allows you to easily increase the quality of users following your account, making your Tweets more effective.
TweetAdder4 is uses the Twitter API & fully complies with the Twitter TOS. This is a huge improvement because you can be confident in using it, and confident in knowing that you are not violating Twitter’s Terms by using it. Use of any software that violates the Twitter TOS (such as with automated following/unfollows) means that you are breaking Twitter’s TOS and you risk account suspension.
In addition to the improvements to the above features, we have added many other improvements across the board. We continue to work on new features, and plan to continue improving TweetAdder far into the future.
I am sure that many people will be sorely disappointed with these changes, however I think we all knew it would happen one day. Everyone who used TweetAdder (including me) was gaming the system. So it is hard to be too annoyed at TweetAdder at this latest development.
Adapting for Twitter’s Terms of Service
It would be easy to forget about TweetAdder now that the ability to follow and unfollow has been removed. Currently, their home page still promotes the product as having the ability to grow your Twitter following by following and unfollowing others. This is really unfair to anyone who buys their product at this time, as they are being sold a lie.
So should we just forget about TweetAdder? They are hoping that we do not. From now on, all of your following and unfollowing on Twitter will have to be done manually, however TweetAdder are trying to make this process much quicker and much simpler.
If you own a copy of TweetAdder, you will have no choice but to update tomorrow. Before you do so, you should make a point of unfollowing people whilst you still can. Bear in mind that unfollowing too many people at the one time can flag your account to Twitter and increase the risk of your account being suspended. Still, it may be worth unfollowing a little more than usual whilst you can, as it will be slightly more time consuming for you to do so after you upgrade to TweetAdder 4.0.
The update cannot be done automatically. First, you need to click on the update link through TweetAdder 3. Once you have done this, you will find that TweetAdder 3 does not work. Then you need to visit TweetAdder and download the new installation file from the home page (Windows, Linux or Mac). You will then need to install TweetAdder 4 as a completely new application.
TweetAdder runs in the background sometimes, even after closing, so make sure you close all processes before loading TweetAdder 4. After loading the application up, you will be asked to re-authorise each of your Twitter accounts.
You will then be given an authorisation pin. The pin is already entered in the bottom field, therefore all you need to do is click the submit button at the bottom of the window.
You will quickly realise that TweetAdder 4 does not appear very different from the last version. The interface is identical and, as before, the application crashes all the friggin time. By the time I had re-authorised several Twitter accounts, I had restarted TweetAdder five times.
Despite using the interface being the same, TweetAdder 4 is a very different product to TweetAdder 3. It is no longer an automated Twitter solution.
Down the left hand side you will see the same menus. The settings area is much the same as before, with the option of adding Twitter users to your black list and white list. The automated process of tweeting messages, sending messages and searching trending trends remains as previous versions too. You will see the main changes in the follow and unfollow menus.
TweetAdder no longer follows and unfollows people on your behalf automatically, however it does give you a helping hand. The Follow/Follow-Back menu gives you a lot of tools to help you follow more users quickly. These options are much the same as they were before. The main difference is that instead of following people for you automatically, TweetAdder provides a list of Twitter users. It is then up to you to manually follow each person.
Complete details are shown for each Twitter user that is displayed in your search including their bio, location, friends, followers and number of tweets. For each user, you can choose to follow them immediately, follow them later or discard them. Clicking on the “Later” button will add them to your “Follow Later List”.
The following tools work well, however they hardly justify a purchase of a product costing at least $55. All in all I was not impressed with the new system of following people. It is essentially the same as before except that you have to do it manually. For me, this is not a massive time saver over following people on Twitter itself (though it would save you a little time if you are following hundreds of people).
I was, however, pleased with the unfollow menu options. It shows you a list of users who:
- Do not follow you back.
- Unfollowed you.
- Have no profile image.
- Write in a foreign language.
- Have a high ratio of following to followers (e.g. they follow 2000 people but only have 80 followers themselves).
- Inactive users.
- Talkative users.
- Quiet users.
Although none of above tools are automated, they are incredibly useful. It quickly shows you who is not following back and who is irrelevant. The inactive option is good as you can change the number of days since their last tweet. The default is 30 days, however this can be changed easily. Depending on how you use Twitter, you may also choose to remove talkative or quiet users. That is, people who clog up your Twitter account or people that rarely tweet. By default, talkative users are people who tweet more than twenty times per day and quiet users are people who tweet once or less per day. Again, these values can easily be changed to suit your own Twitter habits.
Doing all of this manually will take up your time, however it does mean that the quality of people you are following on Twitter is going to be much higher than previously. There are few services out there that analyse the people you are following so well.
Hopefully, a future version will add the option of showing users who have never interacted with you. That would allow you to see those people you followed to get to know but never got round to chatting with them. You could then decide whether to remove them or make an effort to network with them and send them a tweet.
I was planning on recording a quick video for you guys to show you what has changed in the script, however I found out that the developers have already done just that. No point in reinventing the wheel 🙂
Their video can be seen below. In the video they walk you through the changes in the script that I have touched upon in this article.
In the past, I tolerated the non-existant support from TweetAdder developers and the constant crashing of the application because the script worked. Now, it does not. It is no longer an application that allows you to automate the process of following people on Twitter. Am I pissed off about this? Actually, no, I am not.
I have read a lot of people saying that they are going to ask for a full refund. I have been using TweetAdder for some time so that is not something I would do as I have used it a lot. I do feel that people who have purchased the script within the last two months should get something back. TweetAdder are known for offering terrible support and not giving refunds to people after seven days, however they could do something for new customers and upgrade their account. For example, they could upgrade someone from “1 Twitter Profile” to 5 or 10.
It is hard to be too angry with the developers of TweetAdder about these changes. There was always the risk of this happening due to the nature of the product and the changes have came about because of a lawsuit against them by Twitter. I have seen other Twitter products being completely abandoned when Twitter sued them. As I have said a few times in this article, TweetAdder are well known for giving terrible support, however rather than giving up on their customers, they have changed their product in order for it to still be relevant. At the very least, they deserve credit for that.
Without doubt, the application is not as good as it once was, though I do feel that TweetAdder have done the best they could under the circumstances. It does not let you follow people on Twitter automatically, though it can still be considered a script that helps you add people on Twitter.
I am kind of torn about these changes. I used TweetAdder once or twice as a trial for my main Twitter account, though I quickly deactivated that as it made the experience of using Twitter worse. I purchased TweetAdder specifically to grow the related Twitter accounts of websites I owned.
I do not have the time, energy or desire to manually update or maintain several Twitter accounts. The only updates those accounts receive are automatic post updates from their corresponding RSS feed. TweetAdder can still be used to follow people, however the new changes in the script mean that I would have to spend an obscene amount of time following and unfollowing people to get the same result as before. Put simply, for all of those Twitter accounts, TweetAdder is now completely worthless. I am not going to waste my time following people manually. It is a complete misuse of my time online.
On the plus side, the application has strangely become more relevant for @KevinMuldoon. I never TweetAdder before for that account, but the new unfollow features are really useful. At a glance, I can now see who is not following me back, who unfollowed me, and who has stopped using Twitter altogether. It is not something I will use everyday, however it is something that I expect I will use every month or so.
For those of you who already use TweetAdder, I am sure these changes will be frustrating. Under the circumstances, I believe TweetAdder have responded in the right away. If you do not own TweetAdder, the application just became much less relevant than it was before. It is difficult for me to recommend the product to those of you who are looking to increase their Twitter following unless you like the manual unfollow features. Though the script still have the ability to automate tweets, direct messages and RSS updates. On the plus side, this could be the end of people of following you on Twitter and then unfollowing a few days later 🙂
Hopefully, TweetAdder will continued to be improved in the future. Perhaps they could even bring out an online service for customers. Now wouldn’t that be great 🙂