First, the good news: according to a new Nielsen report, the amount of time users spend on Twitter rose 3,712 percent to nearly 300 million minutes over the past year. And now, the bad: a substantial portion of that traffic could be spam. Writing today on FoxNews.com, Steven Kotler argues that the number of "unwanted tweets is rising. What was once maybe one or two messages a day has now risen to around 10 percent of everything that's showing up."
The first phase of Twitter spam, Kotler says, was easy to identify. Each tweet was a basic link or photo – and users could quickly delete the offending material. But the second phase, "is a lot harder to identify," he continues, "and thus a lot harder to protect against. By using computers to hunt for keywords and replying to 'relevant' usernames, spammers are dumping their Tweets into your 'timelines' — recent Twitter posts by yourself and everyone you're following."