As we’ve relentlessly documented, the Twitter-based game Spymaster went from a private alpha, to insanely popular, to feeling a full rush of backlash in about 3 days. While a lot of users were upset with Spymaster tweets from their friends filling up their streams, even more annoying to some was the constant direct messages (DMs) from friends to join the service. Now there’s a couple ways to stop getting those.
First, Topify, the power Twitter emailing service, saw the Twitter crowd’s negative reaction to the DMs and decided to add a feature to prevent it. If you’re using Topify, and get a direct message you don’t want from Spymaster, simply forward it to StopSpymaster@topify.com, and Topify will create a filter to stop these message from inundating your inbox.
This is a smart move by Topify, as it not only is a nice feature for current users, but it gives other non-users a reason to potentially use the service. That should be even more true going forward, as I’m sure Spymaster is just the tip of a very large iceberg when it come to viral spreading Twitter games.
But if you don’t want to use Topify, Spymaster itself has come up with a way to opt-out of these invitation DMs. Simply visit this page and you click the opt-out button (which verifies your Twitter name), and you will no longer receive the DMs. Co-founder Eston Bond notes that while Spymaster never sent DMs without another user specifically requesting invites be sent to friends via DM, he realizes that it was pretty annoying for some people.
As I noted above, the key thing to realize here is that Spymaster is just the first of many viral games coming to Twitter — you can’t imagine how many I’ve already been pitched. Ultimately, Twitter is going to need to step up with better filters on their end to stop these type of things from people who don’t want them. Otherwise, you’re going to have people being forced to unfollow people they may not otherwise want to unfollow. And that simply doesn’t make for a very good social service.