Subscriber reply spamming on X is the new SEO

Published on 2023-09-11 by John Collins.

SEO-like tutorials are appearing online for X, formerly known as Twitter, that advise users on how to game the algorithm there.

To recap, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the set of approaches that are used to gain higher placement on search engines like Google. Any application that ranks user-generated content via an algorithm is prone to SEO-like exploits, and X is no different.

The basic approach being recommended is as follows:

  1. Sign up to get a blue tick. By paying for this, you already get a boast on your replies on other people's threads (X is now pay-to-win...).
  2. Find an account you like with a massive follower count, then subscribe to that account: this will give you an additional reply boost on posts from that account.
  3. Turn on notifications for that account you subscribed to, in order to be notified whenever that user posts on X.
  4. Now whenever that user posts to their huge audience, your replies to them will be very visible to their followers, even if your account is tiny!
  5. Repeat these steps on further large accounts as you wish.

By spending a small amount of money and time, in theory you can build a large following this way.

I have not tried it myself, but I will not judge others for doing it: if their engagements with the large accounts are adding real value to the topics being discussed, I'm okay with that. If they are not adding value, then this approach is unlikely to gain them followers.

The main point however is that X can be exploited, but that is the price we pay when social media is based on gaming mechanics.