– Stay N Alive

Now You Can Check in on Twitter Through Facebook Places

This post is syndicated from the SocialToo Blog – please check it out! I think this feature’s pretty cool:

Recently Facebook launched the ability for users to checkin to any place with their mobile phone, sharing with their Facebook friends where they are and what they’re doing, but what about their Twitter friends?  Services like FourSquare and Gowalla offer the ability for users to share their checkins to Twitter as well as Facebook (or just leave them on Gowalla or Foursquare).  Facebook, with the exception of Pages, has seemed reluctant to include Twitter syncing for Facebook status updates.  That is where SocialToo comes in.  Starting today, you can now sync your Facebook checkins automatically from Facebook to Twitter using SocialToo.

The feature is completely free for anyone on Twitter and Facebook. To enable the feature, just log in to SocialToo through your Twitter account, click “Settings”, and click “Associate a Facebook Account”. Once you have both a Twitter and Facebook account linked in SocialToo, go back to the “Inbox” tab, and check the box next to “Facebook to Twitter” in the upper-right. You can now check the boxes next to the things you want to share, including, “Autopost Places” to automatically post checkins from Facebook. Once checked, any new checkin you post on Facebook will now go to Twitter.

In addition to checkins, you can also automatically post links and status updates. Any checkin with a note attached will show the note as the text of the Tweet and a link back to the checkin on Facebook. To exclude the checkin from Twitter, just add a “-” after a space at the end of your note and it won’t go to Twitter. The same goes for status updates and links that you post to Facebook.  We are also considering the potential for an opt-in “+” in the future (let us know in the comments if this is interesting to you).

Hopefully some of you find this feature useful.  We think it’s a powerful way to let others know, now on both Twitter and Facebook, where you are and what you’re doing, and has the potential to generate some interesting conversation.  Let us know how you plan to use it!

More about SocialToo:

SocialToo provides features to complement the experience people, businesses, and brands, have on the social networks they participate on. We’re a utility providing tools to help automate the process of managing a brand image, while at the same time enabling users to clean up spammy messaging, track followers and friends, and manage those friends and followers in the process. Here are some of the features we provide:

  • Auto Follow – follow back the people that follow you or your brand, providing potential discovery and networking opportunities, opening up communication channels, and giving those that follow you a sense of belonging in your community

    • Auto Follow is a one-time $10 fee.

  • Automatic DM and Stream filtering – do you get spammy DMs on Twitter? We’ll delete them automatically for you. Set up simple filters with keywords in DMs you don’t want to receive, then set rules, such as “unfollow”, “delete”, or “ignore” to get rid of them. Turn off Twitter’s DM e-mails and turn on ours, and we’ll also respect your rules with the DM e-mails we send, meaning if you say “ignore”, we won’t send you the DMs that match your rules. In addition, you can filter out people that say certain things in your stream, or that Tweet from specific (and some times spammy) applications.

    • DM filtering is free up to 4 filters. Stream and Application filtering comes with the monthly SocialToo Premium plan. The monthly SocialToo Premium plan is $29.95/mo, and includes every feature we offer, including support for unlimited Twitter accounts (and all features for each). There is a 7-day free trial.

  • Bulk Unfollow – need to start over on Twitter? Unfollow all the people you’ve ever followed at once. Set a whitelist under “Friends” and you can exclude specific people as you do so.

    • Bulk Unfollow on Twitter is a one-time $35 fee.

  • SocialToo Stats – one of our most popular features, you get a daily e-mail with all the people that followed you and stopped following you the previous day on Twitter. We try to organize them by the Tweets we detected at the time of the unfollow or follow. We also provide additional information about each person and the ability to unfollow or follow them straight from the e-mail. In addition, for our monthly Premium users we provide an organized interface, showing a timeline of all your new follows and unfollows in a graph, your number of Tweets, and if you click through to any day it will show you the new followers and unfollowers for that day at any point we’ve tracked, along with your Tweets for that day.

    • The daily stats e-mail is a one-time $20 fee. The monthly SocialToo Premium plan is $29.95/mo, and includes every feature we offer, including support for unlimited Twitter accounts (and all features for each). There is a 7-day free trial.

  • SocialToo Surveys – a “Social” way of posting quick polls to your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Create a quick poll, and share it with your friends on multiple networks. Your friends can take the poll, share it with their friends, comment on it, or create their own!

Facebook Kills Custom Publishers – Kills 15,000 of My Users Too

What’s a lot for one site may be miniscule for another.  Recently, Facebook announced they were removing the ability for developers to write custom Publisher boxes “due to low usage” of the feature on the site.  The feature, which enabled any application to customize the publishing experience for users, was a little-known, and little-advertised feature known to produce a good amount of traffic for applications.  It was a successful feature though, and perhaps “best-kept secret” for many developers writing for Facebook Platform.  Shortly after it launched I remember a few developers writing about how just a few tweaks to the custom Publisher and adapting the experience to each user provided tremendous conversion in application adds for users.  I was sold.

On SocialToo, one significant tool we provided was the ability to, using the custom Publisher (which is still working now, until Facebook turns it off), allow Facebook users to publish to any Twitter profile, and any Page they administer, just with a few checkboxes attached to the Publisher box at the top of Facebook.  This way users with a preference towards Facebook (which, despite the popularity of Twitter in the blogging world, is very popular amongst marketers) could easily publish to their multiple accounts on a selective basis straight from their Facebook profile.

This was a huge success for me on SocialToo – so much that despite the majority of our features being Twitter-focused, this one small feature was bringing in a significant amount of conversions for me.  Users would authorize the SocialToo app, get the publishing feature, and at the same time learn about the other tools we provided for Twitter and elsewhere on SocialToo, purchasing our premium features straight from Facebook.  20% of my traffic came from Facebook as a result.  Near 15,000 of my 70,000+ users were using the application.

Yet, according to Facebook’s response on a developer forum post, they seem to be looking at mostly usage of the Publisher, not net-effect towards conversion (which is why developers were using the publisher – it was an advertising tool for their apps).  According to Facebook:

“We understand that the publisher feature was successfully used by some developers and enjoyed by users.  While it’s never easy to have a feature removed, we made this decision only after carefully reviewing the feature’s usage over time. For the sake of transparency, here are some basic usage stats that illustrate the approximate daily usage:
–          47 applications with more than 1000 stream publishes
–          10 applications with more than 10K stream publishes
–          0 applications with more than 100K stream publishes”

Usage of the publisher, number of publishes, etc. is an important factor, but Facebook still seems to be neglecting what those 10,000+ stream publishes per day were producing for those developers in terms of monetary value and overall conversions.  For my application, it was priceless.

I’m disappointed that Facebook is killing this feature.  I’m disappointed that they did it with such short notice and without it being on the roadmap they revealed at the end of 2009.  Yes, the numbers, according to Facebook, are small, but with only one document tucked away on the developers wiki devoted towards the subject can you blame it for being such a non-used feature?  From my own experience, the conversions alone it produced, and the utility it provided were enough to make it well worth the integration, and I promoted it to all my clients.

If usage was so low, it certainly wasn’t because it wasn’t useful or valuable.  It was because Facebook didn’t promote it or show the usefulness well enough.  Perhaps the API for it was too complicated – I don’t know.  I do know this is one of the many Facebook Platform features that have gone away that will be sorely missed.

I think one thing with Facebook Platform we can now be sure of is that while Facebook continues to increase usefulness of their platform on the web, their own website’s platform on is slowly being removed, piece by piece.  If this is the case I really wish they would put that on their roadmap.  As for the custom Publisher – this developer is drastically effected by its removal.

Please Do Twitter a Favor and Join SocialToo

Today we announced on the SocialToo blog that we’ve enabled our phishing protection for all 60,000+ SocialToo users (and many, many more to come). This project means a lot to me, as it means the more people that use it, the fewer phishing DMs will be received, links won’t be clicked, passwords won’t be shared, and accounts won’t be compromised. The more I can help prevent this from happening, I think the better for the web in general.

In total, SocialToo has blocked near 200,000 total spam DMs sent to our users, and over 25,000 of those were malicious, phishing, and trapped automatically by our filters. 5,000 of those were just since enabling it on all accounts. That’s 25,000 dms that could have been collecting your Twitter credentials, could have compromised your account, and could have spread further by compromising your account. This service is powerful.

The service gets enabled automatically for any user that just logs in with their Twitter credentials at Of course, I’d love it if you tried our other features, set up some filters, maybe tracked who followed you and stopped following you the previous day on Twitter, but more than anything I want you to help the web in general by eradicating these pesky dms! Each dm we detect gets deleted from your Twitter account, often before you can see it in your favorite Twitter client, doesn’t get sent in our DM e-mails (found on your Filters page), and a message is sent on your behalf to @spam also notifying Twitter of the compromised account.

Please, if you haven’t had reason to join SocialToo yet, now is the time. This is your opportunity to, just by logging in, help make Twitter a cleaner place. Be sure to check out Louis Gray’s experience with this service on his blog – I think he too has had similar experience in seeing the success of having this enabled.

Oh, and stay tuned, other than this and our new design launch, we’ve got some more really big news coming tomorrow that I think you’re going to really like.

Image courtesy

Come Learn About SocialToo At LaunchUp - Your Companion to the Social WebI’m opening the books tonight on my company, SocialToo.  I’ll be presenting tonight at Launchup, an event compared to be a “community barn raising for entrepreneurs”.  The event happens every couple months and has featured such Utah companies as TodaysMama (whom I am an Advisor) and Entice Labs.  The idea is to allow each company a short time to present (I have 7 minutes), expose themselves in as transparent a manner as possible, then let the community ask questions and provide advice and help in helping that business grow.

Tonight I’ll be sharing all the details most businesses won’t share about themselves with SocialToo – yes, it’s a risk, but I am a big believer in transparency. You’ll hear about how many users we have, how much revenue we’re bringing in per month, where I see our weaknesses and strengths to be, etc.  I’ll show you a demo about how you can get set up with a SocialToo account and DM spam filters for Twitter in under 2 minutes with just the click of a button.

This week Launchup will also start bringing these entrepreneur features to the world with Ustream.  You can watch anywhere in the world on Ustream at or on the main website at  The event starts at 6pm, and will also feature presentations by MuseBuzz and PageMass (which I got a demo of yesterday – I think bloggers are going to like this one).  Launchup is organized by Jeremy Hanks, CEO and founder of, another Guy Kawasaki Advisorship company (as is SocialToo).  Come join and say hi!

You can read a brief Q&A I did for them at

Making Auto-Follow a Little Easier by Removing the DMs - Your Companion to the Social WebAs of today on my service SocialToo, we’re taking a stand and removing the ability to auto-dm your followers. This service, as it grew, was getting out of hand, very impersonable, and people were just ignoring them. It was a tough decision due to the number of users using the service, but I think making this decision is the right thing to do. In the end this makes the other services we provide, such as auto-follow, more productive. I’m trying to think of other less-spammy and more personal alternatives down the road, however.

To replace auto-DMs, we’re now blocking DMs from any service we’re able to that do provide the auto-DM service. In addition, I’ll be working on some new features in the near future to auto-unfollow users we detect auto-DM-like behavior from for you. Let’s end this robot-like practice once and for all. I’m taking the reigns on this one.

Announcing the Twitter Bowl 2009 Results

Twitter Bowl 2009Today Brian Solis announced the results of the promotion my company, SocialToo did with him, Jeremiah Owyang, Louis Gray, Chris Heuer, and Guy Kawasaki. The promotion was to encourage everyone to prepend their Tweets about the Superbowl ads with #superbowlads, and then vote for their favorite ad on a SocialToo SocialSurvey at the end of the Super Bowl. The results were interesting:

  • There were a total of 1,534 Tweets during the Superbowl mentioning #superbowlads
  • 563 people voted on the survey
  • 3,151 visited the survey page (showing SocialToo SocialSurveys don’t just cover Twitter)
  • 111 of those visits came from Facebook, 616 directly from Twitter
  • The top ads were 1. Transformers, 2. Hulu, 3. Career Builder, 4. Pepsi Max, “I’m Good”, 5. Doritos, “Free Doritos”
  • These stats are vastly different from other nation-wide polls, showing that the Social Media audience is its own niche, with different ideas and opinions

In addition, midway through the Superbowl we asked viewers to share their thoughts on the overall ad experience. The results were consistent with other findings, showing that most viewers only viewed the ads as par or less from past SuperBowls.

Thanks to Brian Solis for leading all this and putting it together and Jeremiah Owyang for the idea.  Brian put a lot of work into organizing all this – you can read more of his findings and results, along with a much more in-depth analysis over on his blog.

Looking for a RockStar Facebook or OpenSocial Developer?

Robert Scoble - the original has been a huge success for me so far. Just this last month we have gone from just less than 1,000 users to over 7,000 users, and that number shows no sign of slowing down. We’re starting to monetize the site, via one-time purchases of various services, advertising, and will be adding some premium features very soon. I’m slowly actually starting to monetize a service based on Social Media, and thus far, I’m proving it’s going to work.

However, I’ve just about exhausted my resources financially to continue supporting this on just my own savings alone, and have decided it’s time to find something full or part-time that can supplement SocialToo. I am also looking for financing and investment as an alternate source of income, but in tough economic times I have to put my eggs in multiple baskets to ensure something works out.

So, here’s what I have to offer. If you’re looking for a RockStar Facebook, OpenSocial, Twitter, YouTube, or you name the Social Media platform developer to take your app to the next level, I’m your man. I have a very strong software development background which you can see on my LinkedIn profile. I have written two books on Facebook, one on Facebook Development and FBML for O’Reilly (see those in the upper-right of the blog), and one on Facebook professional growth and marketing. I speak and teach others regularly on the subjects of Facebook, Twitter, Social Media, and related topics. I have a good following on multiple networks and a great platform to build your brand as an employee or consultant for your company. Any such relationship would be announced in full disclosure here and any other place it makes sense to mention the relationship. In addition, I am an entrepreneur at heart, which means I have passion in the products I help build. I love seeing these things grow to become successes!

I can develop software – I wrote from the ground up, by myself (with thanks to some great advisors). I can market Social Media. I am learning to monetize Social Media. I have a successful business, and have helped businesses based on Social Media become successes. So, if you or your company are looking for someone with my skills, let’s talk. We can talk full time relationships, consulting relationships, temporary relationships. I’d love to help you out. Oh, and international is definitely an option – I speak fluent Thai, some Spanish, and even some Indonesian and am no stranger to learning new languages and cultures!

At the same time, if you know anyone looking for a good investment that will make money in the near future please forward them my way. In either scenario, SocialToo will continue to grow, will continue to be a focus (while if I work full time for you it will be a side-focus), and you can continue to expect to see the same growth you always have as we move forward. At the same time, I’m a hungry entrepreneur.

You can read my LinkedIn profile at

My contact info is in the upper-right of this blog.

Please Re-Tweet

Photo courtesy the talented Brian Solis

SocialToo Has a Blog!

Some of you may have noticed from my Tweets and FriendFeed posts, but I just wanted to notify others here as well. now has its own blog, and I’ll be doing more SocialToo-related posts there now. I still may re-share a few announcements here, but most SocialToo-related posts will now go over there. Be sure to subscribe to get all of our updates, news, and announcements!

Louis Gray to Join the Board of Advisors

I’m very proud and excited to announce that Louis Gray, my publisher and fellow-author at, will now be part of my company,’s, Board of Advisors and helping us to further build out our strategy in the near and long-term future. Louis comes from a strong PR and marketing background, and when not blogging, he works in corporate marketing and public relations for a private Silicon Valley technology infrastructure company, and is an advisor to ReadBurner, Inc. Louis is a UC Berkeley graduate, holding a degree in Political Science and Mass Communications. He’ll serve as a great help in building out strategy for SocialToo, which I believe is a tool for Marketers, to a mass audience.

Louis approached me with several great ideas which I hope we can implement soon, and which we’ll be working to integrate into the already rich set of tools which SocialToo provides. His transparency in what he does I think will serve well in keeping us a responsible participant in building tools that work to meet the needs of all users on social networks our users belong to. Louis himself has quite the following, and has introduced the likes of Robert Scoble and others to FriendFeed – I’m sure you’ll be seeing more from us on that service now with him on board, especially as we branch out to other services beyond Twitter.

Louis was first to recognize and report TweetDeck, the now extremely popular Twitter Client. He was first to cover Social Median, which recently sold for several million dollars under a year. He’s covered many other very successful services and clients, and he’s one that knows a successful company when he sees it. I’m very honored and excited to have him on board, and plan for much, much more thanks to his advice and involvement in SocialToo going forward. Welcome, Louis!

Remember When Your Followers Were Deleted? Twitter’s Done it Again!

whale.pngEarlier in the year you may remember Twitter “accidentally” deleting a large portion of a majority of their users’ followers and having to spend days restoring those from tape backup due to their mishap. Well, it would appear that Twitter has done it again. This time may not be as obvious to users.

On I was noticing we were getting “Rate Limit Exceeded” errors for our whitelisted @socialtoo user. Such errors shouldn’t be happening for whitelisted users so I looked into it. Sure enough, on the Twitter development mailing list I noticed an email from the founder of MrTweet, Yu-Shan Fung, stating they too were seeing the same issue with their @mrtweet whitelited user.

Alex Payne, Twitter API Lead, confirmed the issue, stating, “It looks like some database maintenance inadvertently truncated our table of whitelisted users.” He then continued in a follow-up e-mail making the problem seem worse: ‘The updated estimate I’ve just received from our ops guys is “more
than 15 minutes and less than 12 hours”. They have to restore from a
nightly database backup. Said backups are quite large, and take some
time to get through.’ It would appear that Twitter has inadvertently deleted an entire table of all the whitelisted users – this is the table that enables many of the Twitter Apps you use to continue to talk to the API without breaking. This is what we as developers are relying on to work or our Apps go down.

It was the exact issue of database deletion and insecurity of Twitter being competent enough to not do it again that caused me to go on hiatus from Twitter earlier in the year. Problems like deleting an entire table from a database, especially twice in a year, are inexcusable Twitter! I recommend finding someone that can ensure this doesn’t happen again. It’s time to upgrade your Operations team. As developers, we simply can’t rely on this, and it’s why I called my service SocialToo and not TwitterToo.

In the meantime, many of the Twitter services you use until this gets resolved may have issues. This includes autofollow being down until the table in the Twitter database is up again. I’ll keep you updated on the @socialtoo Twitter account when this comes up again.