A new 3rd-party Twitter.com application has interrupted our daily direct-messaging lives like an irritating neighbor kid who keeps knocking on the door. Have you received a direct message (DM) that looks like this: “Guess which one of my claims is a lie! http://www.twables.com/twotweetslie/guess/username”? Annoying, isn’t it?
Twables.com looks innocent enough, especially with its Twitter-bird design and Twitter color pallette, but it’s an evil little piece of crap that spams all your followers with a self-referencing DM link (a DM with a self-referencing link, i.e., a link back to your own site, is considered a big Twitter etiquette breach). Twables asks for your Twitter credentials (i.e. username and password) and ends up sending the said annoying DM. Don’t give Twables your password and don’t play the game.
The DM is sent without specific informed consent, because Twables auto-checks the box which indicates the option to DM all of your followers. People are usually polite enough to leave the “DM /Send a @ to all your followers?” box unchecked. It’s not as easy and I don’t consider it informed consent if the application auto-checks the box for you and you must UNcheck it to keep the offending spam from being sent out. This is just bad design. A mistake like that can sink an application before it starts.
If you look on the Twables page, it seems like the Community: Public Groups and the Community: Private Groups could hold some potential: DM an entire specified-user group, or any group member can send a group DM. That would be helpful. Unfortunately, because of Twables’ misstep with the uninformed consent to DM, I suggest that you don’t try these features. With all the auto direct messages, the site has a proven track record of being spam. Avoid it at all costs.