When automation and social media get together, things can get controversial. With Triberr, Twitter users who may never have scheduled a tweet in their online lives are now heavily immersed in automated tweeting.
So, in a community where automation can be a dirty word, and engagement and authenticity are held up as the highest virtues, how are Twitter users feeling about this newest advancement into automating Twitter streams?
What is Triberr?
What exactly does Triberr do? Here is the condensed explanation from Triberr.com:
Every time you publish a new post, everyone in your tribe will tweet it to their followers. And you do the same for everyone in your tribe.
This happens automagicly of course. Hands off kind of deal. Leaves more time for true engagement. — Triberr.com
Now, it is a whole lot more complicated than that, and if you are interested in learning more about how Triberr works the website has a great video walking you through the interface and features of Triberr.
But the jist is, Triberr is allowing tweeps to band together in “tribes” to tweet out each other’s posts to their respective followers, thus exponentially increasing their reach and exposure to new audiences.
Primarily, most of this tweeting is happening automatically, thus creating the outcry against automation.
For example, when I see that a link is a Triberr link, I tend to discount the value of that RT. I know that my friend may not even have read the post and is therefore not really giving me the recommendation and curation that I want.
What Triberr is doing isn’t completely new — other tools allow Twitter users to auto tweet from RSS feeds and it is common practice in the Twittersphere.
However, Triberr has added the exponential dynamic, almost like a multi-level marketing effect for Twitter. And with its lure of instant growth and virtual ease, Triberr is going viral, affecting everyone’s Twitter stream.
With power Twitter users like Shawn Burns, @BackPackingDad, promising to unfollow those who are using Triberr, well things are getting interesting…
Here’s the thing about Triberr: If you’re a power-user, highly organized about Twitter and Tweetdeck columns and Twitter lists, and members of a niche group you have created a List for have formed a Triberr tribe, your once-useful columns become cluttered with duplicate links. Because although it probably doesn’t occur to the tribesman at the time, many people already follow all of the people in that little niche tribe they formed on Triberr. I never click on or retweet any of those links, because once I’m “in the know” that they were auto-tweeted rather than curated, I’m not interested. —@BackPackingDad
When I posed the question to my Twitter followers about whether people liked or dislike Triberr, and if they tended to not click on Triberr links, the responses were 2:1 against Triberr.
While there still were a significant number of tweeps using and appreciating the advantages of Twitter, tweets such as @slc0915 were common:
I hate #Triberr links. I never click and have unfollowed people for using it. Makes my stream too spammy. — @slc0915
But, when I asked the question to a group of professional social media users, the responses were more than 3:1 in favor of Triberr!
This group highly values the extra reach that Triberr offers and feels that if done correctly, with small, carefully selected tribes, Triberr is an asset.
Tania Reuben, @purenaturaldiva, says:
I love it. I love being a part of tribes that are outside of my “daily” circle – without triberr my content might never reach these new readers. I also love that you can see exactly how many people are coming to your site via triber and that clearly let’s me know it’s worth while! I have a few tribes set to manual… and it only takes a few minutes to go through and approve the posts I want to go out. I like knowing that I have the content going out from others too. — @purenaturaldiva
And Nadia Carriere, @childmode, agrees:
It can work if done properly and carefully (separate feeds, limited number of tweets, etc). —@childmode
How Triberr Can Survive
Clearly Triberr has a significant issue: people want TRUE curation, NOT automation.
And, to its credit, Triberr is listening and responding to this problem. Users do have the ability to manually set their streams and choose what tweets go out etc.
But, there is also the problem of too many tweets. With people joining multiple tribes, and bloggers posting multiple times a day, well — things multiply! Twitter streams get jammed and followers get mad.
In response to @MimiBakerMN‘s complaint about this issue, “So if ppl R unfollowing b/c of 2 many tweets via @Triberr what’s the answer? Manual stops? Unhappy ppl,” Dino Dogan, co-founder of Triberr, tweeted, “we just made a change to address that. post coming out tomorrow… great question. Answer is limits. More in 2moro’s post.”
So, it will be interesting to watch as Triberr works to tame the monster they are creating and see if they are able to appease the masses. We all want more traffic to our posts, but none of us wants to lose Twitter followers!
But I think Triberr has good potential and it is only in its infancy at the moment. Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo have built a formidable tool and have made a huge impact in a very short period of time. I hope that they are able to ensure that Triberr can build a solid reputation and that it doesn’t cause followers to hit unfollow when they see Triberr links. (Note: Dino and Dan, please don’t mask the links though. If they are Triberr links, followers deserve to know.)
The problems can’t be solved only with Triberr, however. The key is also with how this tool is used. (Perhaps some users will inform their followers that their Triberr links are NOT automated and that they have manually approved each one that hits their stream.)
For Triberr to be most effective and NOT become spam, it appears best practices dictate that users:
1. Keep tribes small and be very selective
2. Do not join too many tribes
3. Ensure content is relevant and quality
4. Ideally users curate and not automate their streams
What about YOU?
What do you think of Triberr? Do you love it, hate it, or are you still undecided? Do you tend to click less if you suspect it is a Triberr link? Let us know your opinion!