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Twables: Avoid it at all costs

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?

twablesTwables.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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dave LaMorte 7 July 2009, 2:56 pm

    All of these “Tw” sites make me sad.

  • PurpleCar 7 July 2009, 3:01 pm

    Me two.

  • Rome b&b 16 December 2009, 9:34 am

    You made my day…I received a message from one of followers (personal, but suspicious) suggesting me this site…I google and your post appeared…thanks to avoid me to do some spammy mess!!

    • PurpleCar 16 December 2009, 11:09 am

      You’re welcome! Twables might have a chance to be a good app but right now, it’s just a spamming machine. It shouldn’t automatically DM all the followers of anyone who comes over to check it out. And good for you, always run a search on anything you may want to sign up for.
      Thanks for stopping by!


    • Macedonia travel portal 12 January 2010, 8:22 am

      Yes, the same thing happened almost to us. Hopefuly We google it – and found your post 🙂

      Thank you

  • mikenewman 18 December 2009, 8:42 pm

    Hello. I just made the mistake of allowing this app to post to my twitter account. And of course there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to unlink it. Can you help? I should have read your blog before trying it. Thank you.

    • PurpleCar 18 December 2009, 9:10 pm

      Hey Mike.

      Just change your email password and your twitter password. When you are in the Twitter site, make sure you are on your homepage. Click Settings in the upper right corner. Click Connections. Look for Twables on the list and then click the words “Revoke Access” by the Twables logo.

      Good luck!


      P.S. sending an apology DM to everyone and a regular message apologizing may help win some favor back with your community. These things happen, people will be ok.


      • mikenewman 18 December 2009, 9:23 pm

        Thank you!

  • DesertScene 29 January 2010, 7:39 am

    Thanks for the article on Twables. I recvd a DM from some of my followers suggesting I check out Twables and a link. Never heard of it so I Googled it and came across your article. Liked it so much I posted a link to it on my twitter site.

    • PurpleCar 29 January 2010, 10:11 am

      Thanks, DesertScene! (nice username)

      I am thrilled to see someone running a search on a link before they click! Well done! A few seconds can save us all time and money and some security! Make sure to teach that to at least one other person, how to copy and paste a partial or whole link into a search bar. It’s so useful.

      Unfortunately, Twables is still going. I’ve suggested that they uncheck their auto-DM button, but alas, they have chosen to remain spammers.

      Stay safe and thanks for the link back, DesertScene. Find me on Twitter and say hi! http://twitter.com/purplecar , and I’ll follow you back. 🙂

      -Christine Cavalier, PurpleCar


  • Twitter 11 February 2010, 5:55 am

    I have been using twables for a while and they already removed the auto DM on the site. They now also offer user the option not to receive any DM from Twables. Sounds like they did listen to you and other user’s suggestion eventually. Hope this information helps.

    • PurpleCar 11 February 2010, 11:31 am

      Thanks “Twitter.” (I need to disclose here that you aren’t the official Twitter account as far as I can tell).

      Well, I’m happy to hear Twables turned off the automatic opt-in of DM’s, but some problem with the design lingers if I’m still getting auto DM’s. There are still too many for it to be a simple end-user problem. Perhaps they should put this text next to their Auto DM “opt in:” “Please realize if you check this box, you will be sending an automatic direct message to every single one of your followers. People don’t take too kindly to spam in their DM streams, even if your intent is to share our fun service. We want you to click this, of course, because we want our service widely used, but just know that you may get some nasty feedback.”

      See, they wouldn’t put that much transparency in there, would they? No. So I’m not changing my warning. They may have changed from opt out to opt in, but they haven’t done enough to stop the onslaught of their DM spam. There are just too many other Twitter services out there to play with for users to be fooling around with one that annoys everyone.



  • Dawn aka Site Ducky 27 February 2010, 5:40 pm

    I just had a DM “Hi Dawn, you might like this service, it lets your Facebook friends find you on Twitter” and the link was Twables. I was suspicious because this was from someone I follow for expertise in her area – lovely lady that I’m sure she is she wouldn’t know me from Adam and certainly wouldn’t DM me about some service I might like. Thanks for your post!

    • PurpleCar 27 February 2010, 5:43 pm

      Good for you, Dawn, running a search on the service before you clicked! That is some seriously smart surfing on your part.

      I can’t believe twables is still spamming people. honestly!

      -Christine Cavalier


  • JanalynVoigt 26 March 2010, 12:19 pm

    Thanks. I owe you one.

  • David Yiadom 20 April 2010, 10:27 pm

    Wow. Just like most of the commenters here, I got a DM, googled the link and luckily found your post (as third result I think.)

    Thanks for advising, Car which is purple 🙂

    • PurpleCar 21 April 2010, 6:49 am

      You’re welcome. It’s my honor to help.

      It’s surprising to me that Twables is still going. I did have one person contact me on Twitter, saying that it was working out for her, but that was after she had DM’ed me a link! So, yeah, it wasn’t really working out for her but I’m not sure she knows that.

      Great internet savvy on your part! Always search on Twitter links you don’t trust.



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