Mind the Moonfruit! Company hashtags could drown Twitter in spam.

The sly marketing folk at Moonfruit have been able to secure Twitter's number 1 trending topic just by offering 10 free MacBook Pros as prizes over the next 10 days, the prize being selected at random from all tweets containing #moonfruit.

Think about this for a minute:

- Currently #moonfruit is being tweeted more than 10,000 times every hour, so more than 200,000/day. 

- Unless you're willing to subject your poor followers to endless spam, your tweet has a miniscule chance of winning. 

- Would you post an ad for a random company through your friends' doors in return for for a 1 in 200,000 chance of winning a computer? (If you did that every single day your whole life,  chances are still overwhelming that you'd never win... ...and even more overwhelming that you'd end up with no friends .)

- Assuming each tweet gets seen on average by 20 people,  Moonfruit are buying media "impressions" here at a CPM rate of less than 50 cents... equivalent to 'junk' space online, and easily low enough to tempt in a lot of other companies.

- Bottom line... our words and connections are being bought on the cheap! And unless the Twitterverse wises up, we'll end up getting deluged with hashtag spam.  
26 responses
People are always going to find ways to use new tech to serve their own needs. From a marketing standpoint moonfruit's Twitter promotion is a brilliant move. Who knew moonfruit.com was even around before yesterday. Now, even you are helping to expand their message beyond Twitter.

Frankly, I think you're getting a little bent out of shape over something that is not that big of a deal. I'm actually getting a little tired of seeing your moonfruit complaint tweets show up. It is something you may as well get used to because as well as this scheme worked for moonfruit, others will soon follow. Even you are trying to manipulate trending topics with your #noshit tag.

Squarespace did it first with their '30-day iphone giveaway'.
Though my original comment was deleted, I'd like to re-state my agreement with the nameless poster above: "Even you are trying to manipulate trending topics with your #noshit tag."
Oops. Not nameless. James Hamn was the poster.
Double oops! I see you've removed the hashtag-spammy suggestion part of your post. You're welcome :)
I get followed by lots of new people every day and I block people every day who I think are spreading trashy content. If I think I am being spammed I will unfollow. I do not see the issue. If the people you follow spread spam it is in your control to unfollow them. Seems simple enough.
fantastic commentary Chris, (or should I say @TEDchris). I was kinda wondering what the hell moonfru*t was......fruit can't grow on the moon! so, a slightly clever agent of the spamoshpere and infiltraited the democratic sphere o'tweet!!! Looks like we're on to you moonfru*tinites!!!
Each day twitter gets a little less sparkly.
Hi Chris,
yes a lot of sleezy marketeers aren't seeing the true value of Twitter as a micro community. Every one has gone numbers crazy. Furony.com I still don't know what a #moonfruit is and my impression now is I never want to know. Isn't that "negatvie publicity" :-) Karma ey!
The best use of the twit hash tag I've seen is in the Professional Categoriastion of your Tweet identity. So maybe being a moonfruit will be some sort of new age careeer?
Sadly the media don't help situations like this, by sensationalising such hype.
I'm presuming there is no connection between moonfruit and michael jackson? (joke people). Ah no! That was the #moonwalk wasn't it :)
I'm pleased to report I did not sign up 10,000 new twit friends today, but 3 actually great people. To me, that IS what Twiotter is REALLY about.
Thank you for sharing your ideas about spam.
I'm glad you wrote about this. It's pretty obvious to me that twittter is a spam machine and unless twitter can do something about the monster that's emerging twitter will be almost worthless. Let's revisit what "SPAM" stands for and see if twitter fits the bill: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. Yep. Twitter = spam
Twitter is not spam. Twitter attracts spammers. Spammers follow me but do not get spam into my stream because I can have the power to remove them. On Twitter, spammers watch and all the spammers follow each other. There is probably a term for it already tweet+spam+orgy. A Twamgy
Hashtag Spam sounds like something you would order at a German greasy spoon. Yeah I hate spammers, but I can easily weed them out on TWITTER. However, the sheer volume of useless traffic could potentially summon the Fail Whale at some point. What we have here is the makings of a modern-day Dr. Seuss book.
Twitter is already drowning in SPAM. A large number of the Twitter accounts are bots and spammers.
hey chris.. good post..
can u blog on how twitter earns its money.. i dont see any ads on there site.. wat is the income for it..
There's much I like about Twitter. But it's also provided another source for Spam, which I wish they would do a better job of controlling. Seems at least every other day I have to block someone.
Great entry and that spam pic is just awful lol. I don't remember if I ever ate that stuff and honestly I don't care to lol. Keep posting these cool entries :P
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Mmmmmm spam, I can't get enough of it. We have spam and chips here in the UK, it's amazing :)
I love spam so much, I could eat it every day hahaha
Spam is the most delicious food in the whole wide world :) yum yum yum.
Great spam article, I didn't know it was this popular in the UK :D
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