A Free Tool to Restrict the Age of Your Followers on Twitter

The microblogging platform now has a new age-screening feature—and it's free.
Business Writers
July 20, 2012

Is your brand—or your Tweets—not suitable for children?

The microblogging platform now has a new age-screening feature—and it's free.

Social media analytics firm Buddy Media partnered with Twitter to create the service, which came about as a request from alcohol and other brands with age-restricted content.

Blogged Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow: "Over the past month, we have been beta-testing this solution with a small and select group of alcohol brands from several of the alcohol industry’s major holding companies, including Brown Forman’s Jack Daniels (@JackHoney), Jim Beam’s Skinny Girl (@SkinnygirlCKTLS), and MillerCoors’ Coors Light and Miller Lite (@CoorsLite and @MillerLite). Now, we are formally launching this solution and making it available to any marketer."

Here's how it works: Any Twitter user who clicks to follow a brand using the age screening tool is sent a direct message with a URL that requires them to enter their age for access to tweets. (You can personalize the message: Coors Light, for example, sends a message that reads: "Hey! We want to send you Super Cold tweets, but we have to make sure you're old enough. Verify your age within 24hrs at [link].") If the user meets whatever age restrictions you set, they'll automatically start following the brand. If not, they won't be allowed. Twitter users don't repeatedly have to jump through the age hoop: once they've supplied their age, that's it.

Lazerow wrote: "The Twitter and Buddy Media solution solves a challenge many marketers have faced in confirming their followers are of age to follow their brand. Until now, companies have had to develop their own custom, one-off 'age-screening' solutions. The result has been a patchwork of solutions with different approaches, processes and levels of success."

Of course, the solution isn't airtight. As Venture Beat noted, it is "[W] e’re pretty sure kids are hip to the practice of lying about their ages when it suits them. That and unless a brand’s account is private, anyone can read the company’s tweets without being a follower. But hey, the tool is, at the very least, a convenient option that helps brands dot their i’s and cross their t’s with legal." (It's very similar to what brands do on their websites.)

You can sign up here to submit your brand for approval for the tool.

What's your favorite Twitter tool? What feature do you most wish were available?

Image by OPEN Forum

Business Writers