For those not overly au fait (Le Kip!) with what the hell a Twitter Party is, its basically where a company or bloggers paid by a brand try to get a discussion going about a subject – usually something to do with the brand – on Twitter. You’ll quite often have a hashtag that needs to be used for the party, and in return for interacting with ‘the party’ they’ll usually be prizes, probably a voucher of some description.
Of course, those running the Twitter Party will say it’s ‘just a bit of fun’, it’s not though, it’s advertising a brand and a cheap way of trying to get a hashtag to trend. That’s about the sum of it. Bloggers have a MASSIVE reach of people, and Twitter Parties are an incredibly cheap and easy way to get a brand and hashtag spread among thousands of Twitter users. They seem to be springing up all over the place at the moment at different times of the day and night, from subjects ranging to ‘Online Safety’ (sponsored by an online safety software producer) to ‘Ideal Breakfasts’ (sponsored by a large cereal company)
I’m also confused about how it’s a party exactly, I understand that it’s a virtual ‘gathering’ of people, but I can’t say I’ve been to a party where guests have been randomly handed prizes for saying something intelligent (I’d definitely come home with armful of prizes.) From what I can see it’s just a collection of Twitter users virtually waving their arms up in the air screaming ‘PICK ME!! I SAID SOMFINK CLEVERER THAN THE OVVERS!’.
Twitter Parties are INCREDIBLY annoying for people on Twitter too, especially if you’re following a load of people participating, it’s like when X-Factor is on and everyone is tweeting the stupid hashtags they put on screen for their social metrics. Usually when a Twitter Party is going on, half the people I follow are active and playing along, desperately trying to take part and win a £10 gift voucher. The other half are often saying stuff like ‘Wow – ‘that’ hashtag is annoying, glad I can block it’ – It’s a good point, a lot of 3rd Party Twitter Apps will allow you to filter / block certain hashtags. That said, the official clients won’t let you and especially now Twitter are crippling 3rd party clients by limiting API tokens, well, you’ll soon be stuck with the official clients and no filtered hashtags.
It seems unfortunate that Twitter Parties are taking off in such a big way, it’s just another way for timelines to be filled with mindless crap. I could probably unfollow those involved, but I would have to unfollow a lot of people, and even ones I like too! Instead I shall just continue to filter the hashtags as they crop up!
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