New Twitter Rules and the Future of Evergreen Recycling

In February 2018 Twitter announced changes to their API requirements in an attempt to crack down on “malicious activity” targeted around big discussions like the US election. These new controls, which ban co-ordinated tweeting from more than one profile, are designed to prevent bots from spreading spam, and taking over conversations and trending hashtags. We believe that these new controls will be good for Twitter as a platform: improving the quality of the space and the interactions we all have there.

The new rules – effective from March 23rd – mean that all services like SmarterQueue are responsible for preventing their users from simultaneously posting “identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts”. We understand from discussion with Twitter that this means:

  • No duplicate or substantially similar posts to be sent within the same profile
  • No duplicate or substantially similar posts to be sent from any other Twitter profiles within one SmarterQueue account
  • These rules apply for all time, not just for a 24 hour window
  • These rules apply for scheduled/queued tweets as well as live tweeting


Twitter’s Recommendation

If you want to share the same post across multiple profiles, or to repeat it on your own profile, Twitter now recommends that you retweet your original post. However, if you currently use a tool to automate retweeting, you need to be aware that as part of this rule change Twitter is also preventing tools from allowing likes and retweets from multiple profiles simultaneously. (NB: TweetDeck currently allows this, but the option is being removed).


How Does This Affect Evergreen Recycling?

From March 23rd SmarterQueue will be introducing an updated version of Evergreen Recycling to comply with Twitter’s new policies. 

From your perspective, Evergreen Recycling will continue to work as it always has done: what changes is the smart stuff we do for you.

We’ll be checking each tweet before it is published, to find out whether it’s been sent on any of your Twitter profiles already (profiles connected within your SmarterQueue account). If it is a duplicate, we will retweet the original post instead of sending a new tweet. This will have the effect of bumping the tweet to the top of your feed, and showing it to your followers again.


Do I Need To Do Anything?

You won’t need to do a thing – your Evergreen posts will continue to be recycled. We’ll automatically detect if any tweets would be a duplicate of an existing tweet (published by SmarterQueue to any of your connected profiles), and just post them as a retweet, ensuring they appear as planned in your feed.


If you would like your recycled tweets to be published as new tweets, you will need to alter the text. We have made a handy tool available to help you find and update any duplicate tweets.

Twitter is vague about what they deem to be “substantially similar” content. They don’t provide guidance about what or how much you need to change for them to consider a post non-duplicate. If in doubt, we recommend erring on the side of caution, so you should change more than you think, if re-purposing an existing post.

If you are creating a new tweet for multiple profiles, you should take advantage of our feature that allows you to customise the text for each profile, and make sure the tweets are substantially different from profile to profile.

We will also be releasing a new feature in the coming weeks that will allow you to create multiple text and image variations for a post, so that each time the post is recycled it will use a different version of your text and/or a different image. This will work for all social platforms, and will mean you can split-test different content, to see which gets the most engagement.


Short term pain, Long term gain

While the new Twitter rules are going to make many of us think harder about our Twitter strategies, in the long run, it should be a good thing. We’re all tired of competing with the profusion of spambots on Twitter; now we can look forward to a cleaned up space where real users can shine. 

Sarah Lockwood

Sarah Lockwood is a senior Marketing & PR Consultant for SmarterQueue, based in London, UK.