Twitter trialling "bot" account identification


I run lots of automated Twitter accounts - "bots" in common parlance. But there's no way for people to know that these are automated accounts.

This leads to slightly odd situations where people try to have conversations with them.

In a recent blog post - Rethinking Twitter Verification - I mused that it would be great if Twitter let you mark specific accounts as robots.

Well! That day is finally here! Some of my bots are now officially marked as such!

Screenshot showing the @openbenches account is  Automated by @edent.

This is, as I understand it, a beta test. We'll see how users and developers react to this.

What Is It Like to Be a Bat Bot?

Automated accounts - where a human user isn't manually generating all the replies - are incredibly popular. People follow their local train line to find out about delays, or follow bots which Tweet the weather, or who won the sportball. Do those bots only give automated information? Do people expect to be able to have a conversation with them? Do they dream of electronic sheep?

Follow my bots

Here are my bots which have been given the Twitter bot logo:

Flood Forecast

A bot which lets you know the flood risk for the coming days (England and Wales only)

My Solar Panels

At sunset every day, you'll get a graph of how much electricity our roof has generated

UK Earthquakes

Very occasionally, we get small earthquakes in the UK. This lets you know when they happen

RGB Colours

A very silly bot which gives you a random colour to brighten your day

Open Benches

Our crowd-sourced psychogeography project Tweets every time a photo of a memorial bench is uploaded.

Thanks

Huge thanks to the @TwitterDev team for giving me early access to this scheme. You can read more about the trial.


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