Twollow: SOLD

Posted on November 25, 2008. Filed under: Sales, Social Media, Technology, twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

twollowlogoLast week I posted a review of the Twitter tool Twollow. I was interested to see that it almost immediately went under the auction hammer. The tool that took 24 hours to build, took only 7 hours to sell. Bidding started at $25, with the tool finally being sold for $1,750.00. I am surprised by for two reasons, one, it was developed in 24 hours which means the developer realized $72 per hour. Second, it was obviously built for sale. This is an interesting trend. Almost akin to the House flipping market and I wonder if it will follow the same pattern.

Tools for Sale

Will we now see a rush of tools for Twitter brought out simply for resale? I will be interested to see what happens to Twollow – there is no disclosure of who bought the tool. Considering it was really a work in progress and needed quite a bit of remodeling it might not have been the bargain that someone thought.

The model that was used was very interesting. Build & launch a tool. Garner blog coverage for it, on the auction site there were 6 different blog sites with articles about the tool, including this one. Then put it on an auction site like Sitepoint.

Facebook reportedly offered $500m for Twitter this week. An offer that was turned down by the Twitter team. $500m is not a bad offer for a company that is barely 2 years old with a tool that has really only started to gain popularity in the later half of 2008. If we take the interest by Facebook as an indication, tools that support Twitter and extend its functionality and usefulness, will ultimately attract the same type of attention. Tools that support business functionality are already starting to appear, last week I posted on Mashable a HOW TO using the Xpenser tool, which utilizes Twitter functionality to track business expenses.

Twollow had none of these to offer. There was no business functionality, no extension of existing Twitter use and yet it managed to attract both publicity and bids. One can only imagine the interest that a tool with both business and personal functionality might attract.

Tweetlater is a good example of one such tool, and one to watch.  It has been extending its functionality over the past couple of weeks.  Going from its original one trick of allowing you to schedule Tweets to adding Keyword tracking and @replies digests so that you don’t miss important replies.  I think that Tweetlater would raise a lot more than $1,750.00 if it came under the hammer.

Twitter Tool Realtor

Perhaps there is an opening for a Twitter Tool Realtor? After all Twollow was a single function tool, the software equivalent of a Shotgun Shack, and that sold in 7 hours. A Twitter Tool Realtor could bring together developers with purchasers who could then take the tools to the next level.

What Twitter tools would you buy, and how much would you be willing to pay for them?

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Twollow: The 24 Hour Tool

Posted on November 21, 2008. Filed under: Social Media, Technology, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , |

twollowlogoAnother new Twitter tool appeared this week. It was reviewed on Mashable.com. According to the overview the application was created in just 24 hours. The point of the tool is to auto-follow users who use certain words in Twitter. I love testing out new Twitter tools, but I have to admit I was confused as to what the point of this tool was.

I decided to take for a test drive. The first thing you notice is that it is incredibly easy to use. No doubt about it, it was designed as a simple tool, and the interface supports that. There is even a “How To” video on the home page, in case you are confused. The idea is to setup keywords that interest you, with certain limitations, generic words are excluded.

There are several tools that will perform keyword tracking in the Twitterverse – Tweetlater added that functionality this week, Tweetbeep has had it for a while. Where Twollow differs from these other tools is that instead of reporting the use of these keywords, it auto-follows the user that Tweeted the keyword.

I tested it with a few keywords that I felt would provide very limited results and not mean I ended up following thousands of new users overnight. I used Austin, Expedia & IncSlinger. I selected these based on location, Brand name and Personal Brand. Over a two day period I “auto-followed” less than 10 people. A few of them have actually turned out to be very informative and useful people to follow that I probably would not have found.

Who Would Use It?

I can see this tool being useful for people who have very specific, very focused interests or who want to follow people who are commenting on a particular event or news situation. I can also that the tool could be used by fake marketers – spammers, to find their next 10,000 targets. By setting up keywords that ensure the people they follow are talking about something relevant to them, could be Vacations, could used cars, hair products, it would be fairly easy for people sending out this type of Tweet to locate their next group of targets.

What It Needs

If this tool were expanded it could have a much greater use. Some features that would make it useful to both personal and business Twitter users include presenting the Twitter users who have used the particular word in columns – similar to TweetDeck’s columns. Then rank them by the number of times they used that keyword. The user that Tweeted it most at the top and so on down. Including the “in reply to” functionality would allow a user to then further review the use of the word for context sensitivity. Then allowing multiple selection of users to follow.

That functionality would make this tool much more useful, would appeal to both personal and business users and would limit its effectiveness for Spammers. Of course I am sure all that functionality would take a lot more than 24 hours to produce.

What would you build into this tool?

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