You’re A Spammer!
That’s what MySpace wants your friends to think.
Update to the update: Short URLS are now spam again. Sorry folks.. I guess this was too good to be true. One comment suggested that bit.ly urls get through.
UPDATE: Shortly after sending this blog post to MySpace in response to a support ticket, MySpace stopped blocking tiny urls! - They set up the disclaimer page as I suggested. Tony
If you are updating your MySpace status through services like HooteSuite.com and Ping.fm then you may be surprised that any link you put in your status update is automatically considered, labeled and blocked as spam.
This is because MySpace blocks ALL short url services.
In an email support reply MySpace said:
“Due to issues of abuse, we are unable to allow direct links to URL shorteners such as bit.ly at this time. You are still welcome to link directly to your through a domain that you own and control.”
This is crazy.
Short URLS are a service to just about everybody. It allows for the author to get more of a message into the 140 character message system and it allows the end user to be able to click on something that isn’t truncated or broken.
Plus Short URLS can also have tracking embedded. I prefer HooteSuite.com because any link that I send to update my Twitter, Facebook, and related Ping.fm accounts, all have the Owl.ly short url. HooteSuite.com then tracks the links to show from which service they were opened and how many times.
Is it all SPAM?
No. It’s true that I use the short urls on occassion to promote things that benefit me, but I also link to interesting stories, political issues, and much more.
If you want your own web page address (url) to show up, then simply put an asterix in front of it as you post it. For instance: *http://tonydbaker.com/
Unfortunately, as of right now MySpace seems to be blocking status updates that include *. So basically when it comes right down to it, myspace doesn’t want you to update your entire genre of social media sites and the friends within them. They want you to log in (so that you can see their ads) and update your status manually.
I can see why they want you to do this… it means more traffic, more ad exposures, and hopefully more clicks to the ads. However, this will likely backfire. People will simply not update their MySpace accounts at all. Users will be frustrated that every link they click on is classified as spam.. and MySpace will stop being relevant.
- MySpace could at the very least bring up a page that says: We do not link to url shortening services.
- MySpace could understand that only an account holder can update their status, and that anything that the account holder wants to say (including the URL) should be allowed. If people complain that the links (to porn or whatever) is against the terms of service, then the entire account is banned/terminated.
- MySpace could set up an account verification service… Users who verify their accounts through a $1 credit card transaction, or through a code sent to a SMS text message on a cell phone, or through any variety of other verification methods.. could be considered a verified account and thus the account and anything within it (including updates) is not spam.
- MySpace could simply have a disclaimer page. You are leaving MySpace.com – If the page you are going to contains x, y, or z report it here.
But until then… they want your friends to think.
You’re A Spammer!
- Tony Darrick Baker