Update: Twitter reached out to Engadget and Quartz to clarify the 8.5-percent of automated users have accounts that "automatically contacted our servers for regular updates." This includes 3rd party applications such as TweetBot and Flipboard on top of news services as we previously mentioned.
The social media company did not explain whether these apps are automatically posting updates or simply accessing the network, as TweetBot can automatically pulls a constant stream of new tweets. It seem that Twitter does not have a significant portion of completely automated accounts, but rather these 23-million users simply aren't putting much effort into their social media lives.
Article continues below
Original story below...
Twitter filed a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealing 8.5% of its 271 million monthly active accounts were using third-party apps to automatically post updates. If the numbers are real this would mean roughly 23 million users are actually bots that operate without needing a real user to man the account.
The new findings only account for three months of activity ending on June 30, but still, this isn't a good look for Twitter.
The social media firm went on to explain that the percentage of bots includes automated services that post immediately after a news story is posted.
However, Twitter has always been notorious for being flooded with spam bots and fake accounts created for users who pay their way to high follower counts.
The new numbers come in stark contrast against the 500 million total user count Twitter reported it was approaching in January 2013. The company also chirped some of its best revenue growth yet on July 30.
This isn't the first time Twitter has been caught fluffing its reach. A French consumer insight firm revealed in 2012 that only 34%, or 170 million Twitter users, were actively accessing their accounts.
- Are Facebook and Twitter one and the same?