I recently went to re-tweet someone’s post and received a warning:
Warning: This tweet is from a protected user
I was taken aback! This is someone who is in the public eye. Why on earth would they protect their tweets?
If you are wondering what a protected tweet is, it is essentially a private profile on Twitter. It means that only approved people can see your tweets.
This is fine if you are just an individual and you don’t want the bots to get you, or the porn spam, or the regular spam. Maybe you tweet content that you don’t want certain people to see, or content that you only want to share with some people.
However, if you are a public figure or just using your Twitter for business, then having protected tweets is counter-productive. Your goal is to get people to follow you. Increasing your followers, increasing participation and improving your business networking opportunities are all centered around interactions. If people can’t interact with you, or even see your posts, then what is the point?
Because I am on the “approved” list, I can see this person’s tweets. But this tweep just missed a networking opportunity. I was going to re-tweet something interesting and engaging. Maybe some of my followers would have started following this person because I facilitated an introduction.
I could have decided to re-tweet anyway. However, it would have only been visible to the other people who follow this person. So I abstained.
Re-tweet lost. Networking lost. Opportunity lost.
What a shame.