Twitter warns firms over cynical 'spam'

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has warned companies not to use the web platform he helped create for purely promotional purposes, in the wake of a major corporate scandal on the site.

Biz Stone: 'avoid spamming'
Biz Stone: 'avoid spamming'

Stone told PRWeek that corporations must be wary of 'setting up an account for the sole purpose of pushing out information'. His comments come after furniture store Habitat was forced to apologise for promoting its products to Twitter threads focused on the political unrest in Iran.

'If it is just promotion after promotion - anything that gets toward the realms of seeming like spam - that is a no-no,' said Stone. 'Make sure people are following your account for the right reasons. If it's done in a spammy way, it's not going to last very long.'

A Habitat spokesperson apologised for the company's decision to add keywords - called 'hashtags' - such as 'Mousavi' and 'Iran' to promotional messages. 'We would like to make a sincere apology to any users who were offended by last week's activity on Twitter,' read the Habitat statement.

Stone noted Twitter could act as a 'force for corporate transparency', but only if it was used in the right manner. 'It allows companies to really hear what their customers are saying,' he said. 'Some obvious things have emerged that have proved worthwhile: interacting with folks; sharing access to information that people find interesting and sending out links.'

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