I’ve written about Nuffnang in the past, but today, I will focus on their new service ChurpChurp. This is Nuffnang’s latest foray into the advertising space – they’re into Twitter advertising. All Singapore and Malaysian Twitter users, this is something you should read about and understand.
This isn’t new
Twitter advertising has been around for about a year, with the first service that launched, being Magpie. This is similar to what ChurpChurp is – it identifies campaigns, matches them, and will then automatically tweet them for you (visually, how it works).
Magpie allows you to pre-approve all magpie-tweets before it goes out there an automatically posts them. Its not clear if this is just an option or something that happens all the time – auto-posting at random seems more interesting eh?
Magpie has a tweet average – once every ten tweets – by default. You can change the ratio (to once every 200 tweets too, it seems). Magpie supports disclosure, via a customised disclaimer, so you can have a hashtag to say it is sponsored. You can read this and more in their FAQ.
Disclosure is encouraged even via IZEA (the people that mass marketed sponsored conversations). They also have Sponsored Tweets, a yet to be launched service.
And in quick Googling, I also found RevTwt.
A quick view of ChurpChurp, without signing up (the last thing I want is my followers to be spammed). The registration page is most interesting, considering they use your age, race and religion potentially, for targeting purposes. They quite blatantly state: “Although optional, depending on the country you are in, we may use race and/or religion to target sponsored posts.”.
But Nuffnang has always shone because they err on the side of fun – they associate themselves with alcohol and possibly tobacco (I can’t remember a recent tobacco related campaign) related companies, and its no different on ChurpChurp. Imagine following funny-man Kenny Sia, and he tweets something like:
Just had a smoke. The menthol feels so good, you should definitely give it a try http://www.ciggies.com.my/ #churp2
But that’s a matter for another day. Alcohol related advertisements are rife in the Malaysian blogosphere, and I can almost guarantee that all readers aren’t of the legal drinking age.
How does ChurpChurp work? Two ways: automated insertions, or via customised insertions with just the appropriate keyword and link. The automated insertions might be easy to figure out, but the customised insertions with just a keyword, and potentially a different shortened URL (for tracking purposes, quite naturally)? Without disclosure, this could potentially be great for advertisers, and in fact, unsuspecting Twitter users will fall prey to ads too. I should make mention that ChurpChurp does support disclosure.
ChurpChurp has an FAQ for Twitterer’s as well as one for advertisers. There’s an interesting list of items that ChurpChurp will not advertise for.
ChurpChurp has defaults – up to 10 ads per week – but this can be customised. You can cash out after earning RM100/SGD100, and I wonder if the rates for the “chosen ones” go up higher enabling them to cash out faster? Or are “chosen ones” really chosen based on Twitter follower count? Remember, if chosen ones are based on follower count, it changes quite rapidly, as and when Twitter decides to clean out spam accounts.
Does this work?
Magpie has been around for a while and seems to not be going anywhere. In fact, I even follow one Magpie advertiser, @WoNoJo. He tells me that he’s just experimenting with Magpie, and I find his other tweets have more value, so I still listen to what he has to say.
That may seem like a blatant “OK” to this ChurpChurp idea, but it isn’t. Remember, you are enabling Churpers, and you can stop by just unfollowing them.
Duncan Riley over at The Inquisitr, has published a telling piece on how he used Magpie and what he thinks about it in: In-Stream Twitter Advertising: Does It Work?. All potential ChurpChurp advertisers should be reading this.
I’m following someone who’s Churp-polluting my stream. What can I do?
If you value his/her tweets, tell them via an @reply that you do not like it. Direct message them if they follow you.
Alternatively, you can always unfollow them.
However, if you feel strongly about this, feel free to drop a direct message to the @spam account on Twitter. Gareth tells me in a comment that its best to direct message the @spam account on Twitter, so as not to mistake your account as a spam account too.
I’m thinking of joining ChurpChurp, should I?
Well, quite simply, you should not. But the promise of earning money is there, right? Just ask yourself: do you want to alienate your followers?
Also, please look at Twitter’s terms of service – #8 states You must not create or submit unwanted email to any Twitter members (“Spam”)..
I invite you to share your comments about ChurpChurp in the comments section. On Twitter, it seemed like most people weren’t too thrilled with Nuffnang polluting the Twitterverse, but it was only a matter of time after they had polluted the blogosphere.
Update: Thanks to Gareth for telling me in comment #1 that its best to direct message and not @reply the spam account on Twitter.