Twitter reveals more than 23m accounts are bots

12 Aug 2014

In what might not be a surprise to experienced Twitter users, the microblogging site has revealed to the US government that more than 23m of its accounts are not run by humans.

According to Twitter’s recent filing with the US government, bots that either spam complete nonsense or are designed as automated responses to events, such as weather reports or news bulletins, make up 8.5pc of the site’s active daily users.

This will no doubt worry Twitter, as the company’s business model of targeted tweets and sponsorship deals with companies is unlikely to have much sway with a horde of automated robots.

According to Quartz, the decision to comment on the number of bots was in direct response to an earlier statement that 14pc of the website’s active monthly users come from outside of the traditional website route and rather through Twitter APIs, including Tweetdeck and Twitter for Mac, which fall outside of Twitter’s official statistics.

This routing of 14pc of its traffic should also be of concern to Twitter, as it is not coming to or via the Twitter mobile app, which features all its marketing and revenue streams.

Twitter mobile image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic