05.08.09

User “Microsoft Incentives” Wants to be Your Friend, Too

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red tail hawk
Big awesome Microsoft is still twitting

Summary: Another potential Microsoft AstroTurfer in Twitter

LAST WEEK we posted proof that Microsoft would be giving gifts to bloggers and to users of social networks (e.g. Digg, Reddit, Slashdot) in order for them to rave about Windows. Microsoft is of course doing it via agencies and agents whom it hires. Waggener Edstrom is the biggest such agency [1, 2], but it’s not the only one. Microsoft is employing companies to pollute Twitter with its marketing buzz and also to track users and messages [1, 2, 3, 4].

Yesterday I received the following message by E-mail: “Microsoft Incentives (msincentives) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Wow! Yay.

“Twitter accounts for offering of gifts (bribes) to ‘fans’ of Microsoft would make perfect sense now that we have evidence of them hiring agencies for such jobs.”Mr. (or Mrs.) Microsoft Incentives must really be interested in twits about GNU/Linux and occasionally some politics.

This is obviously one of those spammy Twitter accounts which are just ‘whoring’ everyone, hoping to earn some attention in return (mutual following) and usually just pointing to bot-powered marketing messages.

We know that Microsoft has a similar Twitter account for MSPs (maybe it’s not directly affiliated with Microsoft), but none of this should be too surprising. Twitter accounts for offering of gifts (bribes) to ‘fans’ of Microsoft would make perfect sense now that we have evidence of them hiring agencies for such jobs [1, 2, 3, 4].

Tread carefully out there.

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2 Comments

  1. Goblin said,

    May 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi Roy!

    Interesting article. As you are probably aware I actively keep watch on Twitter.

    I have noticed an increase in alleged “fanboyism” on it and believe your article to be spot on (as usual)

    What I would say though is just like on Microsoft Watch, many people are not prepared to allow the FUD and shameless Microsoft promotion to go on. People have emailed me in regards to making sure the alternatives to Microsoft get heard on Twitter on a like for like basis (its only fair for the end user afterall)

    Just like on Microsoft Watch, I think the MS faithful will find if they push the FUD too much, then the Linux users who believe people should make informed software decisions will simply counter them.

    It was obvious to me who had the honest held belief on Microsoft Watch since the majority of regular posters there were FOSS users.

    Only in the last few hours I found an alleged “Microsoft Fanboy” who it transpires is associated with a firm (either by owning the company or being employed by it) who is a “Microsoft Certified Partner”

    Sad thing is, his case is not unique and in my experience the only people promoting MS products on Twitter are either employees or those with “other interests” in Microsoft products.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, my experience with this phenomenon is largely the same.

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