Sick of writing your own crummy tweets for free, and wish someone else would pay you to post bad tweets? Wish no more!
TweetPeddler is a service designed to let advertisers pay to have their messages tweeted out by popular accounts. The kind of advertisers who typically use this service are of a particular spammy sort — diet pill sellers, strange video sites, etc. Similarly, the kind of Twitter accounts who participate are similarly low-quality: the kinds of accounts that do "relatable quotes" or fake celebrity accounts.
A typical "real" tweet from @GirlStruggles (~5 million followers):
A sponsored tweet through TweetPeddler (note the #ad hashtag at the end):
You can type in your own message or have that account retweet you:
Here's the thing: It's intended for advertisers, but isn't limited. Anyone with a PayPal account can buy a sponsored tweet. Likewise, virtually anyone can sign to sell their tweets.
Two years ago, a similar service called Pay4Tweet quickly devolved into an instrument of trolling. It changed its policies so that you could no longer auto-tweet — messages needed to be approved before they went up.
Just recently, TwitterPeddler started up again, using the old, unfiltered model. It wasn't long before we started seeing off-message things from a crummy aphorism account called "Things Guys Like."
Usually, this account tweets bro-ish aphorisms like:
But TweetPeddler let people make it auto-tweet things like:
I had to get in on this. You can set your own price, and choose if you want sponsored tweets to be automatically posted or if you want to review them.
I sent out the link to my TweetPeddler page and let people tweet whatever they wanted for the low, low price of $1 per tweet.
Hmmm... Maybe this wasn't a good idea.
At the end of the day, I made about $30, half of which came after I raised the price from $1 to $15. Not bad, except for the part where I nearly lost my job.
Basically, this is really dumb and no one should ever do it.
Update - Dec. 19, 3:40p.m. ET: Shortly after this post went up, TweetPeddler's site went down, apparently due to high traffic volume. Didn't you all see my warning that no one should ever do this?
Update - Dec. 20, 11:00a.m. ET A representative for TweetPeddler confirmed over email that it wasn't high traffic that caused it to shut down; Twitter shut it down due to terms of service violations. According to TweetPeddler, "we are completely overhauling the site to be more compliant with Twitter's Terms and Conditions. We will be back in about a month."
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at email@example.com.
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