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Who Wants To Be a Magpie?

written by John Chow on November 24, 2008

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It was bound to happen sooner or later. A new site is offering to pay you to send sponsored tweets to your Twitter followers. Be a Magpie promises to convert your tweets into bling-bling if you allow them to spam your followers with commercial messages.

How Magpie Works

According to Be a Magpie, you can make money with Twitter in three easy steps.

  1. You define a tweet frequency at which you will accept magpie-tweets for your Twitter account. Given your current tweet rate permits it, our service will try to find a matching magpie-tweet and twitter it.
  2. Magpie-tweets will contain the hashtag “#magpie” and thus be readily identifiable from your other tweets.
  3. For each successfully delivered magpie-tweet you will be rewarded in cash. Remuneration depends on the number of your followers and the popularity of the magpie-tweet’s topic.

You select a the ratio between your normal tweets to paid tweet and Be a Magpie does the rest. The ratio can be as low as one paid tweet for every 20 normal tweets to as high as 1 to 1. The more paid tweets you run, the more you can make.

I Am Going To Have Sooooo Much Bling!

I'm going to have sooo many coins!How much you make depends on how many Twitter followers you have, how often you hit them with paid tweets and the topic category. Be a Magpie has a little Bling-Bling calculator on their site to give you an idea on what you can make.

Based on my 2,967 Twitter followers, Be a Magpie estimates that I would make 863.32 Pounds per month ($1,306.05 USD). That sounds pretty good but I highly doubt it can really make that much. I can’t imagine the service has signed up that many advertisers yet. There’s also the security issue. In order to send out the paid tweet, Be a Magpie needs your Twitter password. While Be a Magpie maybe a legit company, it might also be a huge phishing scam to take over people’s Twitter accounts. There’s also the questions of how many people will stop following you because you’re running paid tweets.

Twitter doesn’t have anything in their TOS that specifically prevents you from being paid to make tweets. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t update their TOS and try to kill the commercialization of their service. I personally think they can’t stop it even if they try.

Would You Be a Magpie?

I’m interested to know how many readers would consider being a magpie. I’m also interested in knowing if you would stop following anyone who sends you a paid tweet. I’ve found the best way to make money from Twitter is indirectly. I use Twitter to help send traffic to my blog, which makes the money. This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to a service like Be a Magpie. However, I’m not for it either. I’m going to sit on the fence and watch for a bit. What do you think?

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{ 72 comments }

Taris J November 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

From the way your wrote it “you allow them to spam your followers..” I think I’d vote against something like this to be honest – I have no problem with advertising – but I’d prefer not to be bombarded by it, nor would I bomb my loyal readers with it either

Trevor November 24, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Me too.

Building up reputation takes a long time and you can potentially lose all of it with this.

AverageGal November 24, 2008 at 9:01 pm

I agree that most people don’t want to be slammed with ad’s. If you do go this route John, it will be a good case study on how “followers” react. The proof is in the numbers.

Chris Jacobson November 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Not to mention Twitter will disable your account for such repeated tweets. Definitely not in.

Seo Creations November 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Yup, also they want our account password also

Rowell November 24, 2008 at 10:10 pm

It would be dangerous for John to do a case study on it and lose his followers but I guess someone has to do it. I don’t have as many followers as John I could lose my followers respect.

ZK@Internet Marketing Blog November 25, 2008 at 7:24 am

I ll use the wait and watch policy

poker scene November 24, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I’d have to agree with you. Spam on twitter is way too much. It’s sad. I thought twitter would never be corrupted. I think you would loose followers doing that.

Taris J November 25, 2008 at 7:26 am

Hey John!! I just wanted to let you and your readers know that I’m also holding a contest!!! Since my blog is just getting off the ground, I decided to hold a commentating contest to build my readership base. There are three top prizes, with $100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd and $25 for 3rd

Check out the details of the contest at this link Thanks again for another great blog post – I hope that I win YOUR contest – I made my post for it the other day!! :)

BusinessX November 25, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I find it funny that a bunch of affiliate marketers are upset about advertising and spam. Get over it, forget how soft-sell you think you are, if you subscribe to John Chow you want to make money with advertising. If you are so worried about offending the world with advertising then you need to get out of affiliate marketing and get into I don’t what? Roadside fruit stand? But even there you would have advertise with at least a painted sign. Maybe I should complain about when I drive down the road in the summertime, I see a pickup truck loaded with Watermelons and on the tailgate I see they have halved watermelons facing the road. Damn those farmers, spamming my road trip.

Li Weng November 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm

As with any social sites, twitter users will be put off by strings of commercial messages. I highly doubt that this is will be effective. It might be short-term cash but in terms of long-term revenue potential for an internet marketer, it doesn’t look promising.

AffiliateObsession November 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I really didnt like reading about this and I hope that it doesn’t take off. I already have people following me for no apparent reason, I don’t want to see paid tweets all day.

We’ll see what happens i guess.

Ryan McLean November 24, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Sounds like an awesome idea to cash in on. Who wouldn’t want more than $1,000 per month just for setting up an advertising account and it automatically does it for you. Sounds like easy money.

David Turnbull November 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm

But that approach is so limiting.

Sure, you may make a few hundred dollars, but so much more value would be gained from building your personal brand using a tool such as Twitter which can then be leveraged at a later time for much better results.

My dad used to always say this to me as a kid: you can have one piece of candy now, but if you wait an hour you can have three pieces. As a kid, of course I just wanted candy then and there, but when looking at business it’s entirely the wrong approach to take. Patience is key.

@seavista November 24, 2008 at 9:09 pm

I’m with you on this one John. Not sure yet. Part of me sees the benefits from a business marketing perspective. However, I think this will end Twitter as we know it if is widely adopted.

Anyone actually using it yet who can comment.

moses November 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

I think it’s a good a idea to use twitter for making money…. Hmmm… i should use twitter more…

Play Games Win Prizes November 24, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Most of Twitter is filled with bots and fake accounts anyways, so it wouldn’t make much of a difference and you probably won’t lose much followers.

-Mike

Mat Packer November 24, 2008 at 9:55 pm

C’mon John, even you’ve got limits haven’t you.

This is nothing but spammy junk messaging. I think this service has the potential to ruin twitter. And yep, you watch Twitter close the loophole that currently allows this activity.

Rowell November 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I think I have to side with most of the people here. Advertising on Twitter is too much. Your brand will be tarnished and you will lose followers. People will start using Twitter as a spamming tool. I think using Twitter to advertise your blog should be the farthest you should go.

teens make money online November 25, 2008 at 5:33 am

you right, although my followers are only 3 three people, but i still dont want to lose the harmonious relationship with them in twitter

Li Weng November 26, 2008 at 2:48 pm

LOL glad to hear you have harmonious relationships with your followers.

Seo Creations November 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Interesting everyone want more than $1,000 per month just for setting up an advertising account and it automatically does it for you

Wordful November 25, 2008 at 12:09 am

Not cool in my opinion. These guys are trying to turn out one of the most original and revolutionary services on the web today. I don’t think Twitter folks would find this very amusing, either — at least the breach of password privacy of their user accounts.

John I think it’s cool that you’re asking us our opinion. Not sure if we sway your decisions, though…

gendut November 25, 2008 at 12:27 am

wow…great tools……..

Steitiyeh November 25, 2008 at 12:28 am

personnaly, i would go for MagPie to be honest and i will never stop following anyone for sending out paid tweets.

But logically it will harm your brand in a way or another, because it is exactly like SMS Promotions.

Affiliate Showdown November 25, 2008 at 12:47 am

I will take the plunge! I only have 7 followers at the moment.

Abdul November 27, 2008 at 3:31 am

That means you’re in lead!

Ecko November 25, 2008 at 1:30 am

I think I will block you if you tweet me some pai tweets. :))

joe gelb November 25, 2008 at 1:35 am

even though this may be the future im sure there has to be an easier way to make money off of twitter

Freeman59 November 25, 2008 at 1:48 am

I’ve tried it, BeaMagPie tell me i could win up to $15 a month

That’s just 2 weeks i’ve tested it and only 2 ads tweet that gave me $0.07 each

I’m not to be rich with only $0.14 a month :s

steven wilson November 25, 2008 at 1:49 am

Spam my followers I will have to say no to this one,and would most likely stop following someone that used it to spam me.

donsanchez November 25, 2008 at 2:17 am

LOL! donsanchez can earn 2,15$ per month. Nevermind – keep going.

shun2u November 25, 2008 at 2:20 am

spam?

Melissa Miller November 25, 2008 at 2:52 am

John, I think you should pass on it. You’ve spent sooo long building up the John Chow brand and you don’t want to spoil it with something like this.

Abdul November 27, 2008 at 3:42 am

I would agree, I don’t think it’ll turn out as said. If I join twitter I wouldn’t like some one sending me paid tweets!

jackie sheeler November 25, 2008 at 4:31 am

i’m sorry, but this just sucks. advertising is not what makes the world go around. can’t anything social remain just, well, social?

i will sign off twitter in a heartbeat if i start getting spammed with ads there. that would destroy twitter for me.

MLM Home Business November 25, 2008 at 4:40 am

I wouldn’t like it to receive more advertisings. I think your way is a great way. Using twitter to drive traffic back to the blog and making money on it. Kepp doing that John…

Daniel

Lance November 25, 2008 at 5:57 am

I’d be pretty pissed if I started getting hit with spam from dozens of my tweet friend sat once. What happens if you have thousands of followers and hundreds of them sign up for this? Signal to noise goes completely to hell!!

Diana Rupert November 25, 2008 at 6:51 am

It would only piss off your followers John. To much advertisement is annoying.

No deposit bonus November 25, 2008 at 6:53 am

Even more advertising? I hate ads.

Abdul November 27, 2008 at 4:02 am

Unfortunately other than selling products that is the only way to make money online, it comes in many forms you know!

David Risley November 25, 2008 at 6:57 am

When I wrote about this on my blog and polled my Twitter followers, the consensus was that this wasn’t a good idea and that they’d stop following people who use Magpie. And I’m not surprised.

That said, such a thing is inevitable. It is ReviewMe or PayPerPost for Twitter.

DollarDevil November 25, 2008 at 7:03 am

Great idea in theory but to implement it seems a little excessive. Maybe if the community created a giant mag-pie circle to strictly keep tweets isolated to a group, and a capitalize on the profit I could see some interest. Strictly as an advertising role? No beans. Collaborative community? I’m in.

Walt November 25, 2008 at 7:54 am

When that first came out a few weeks ago a bunch of people signed up for it. Evrey time I saw a magpie tweet I stopped following that person.

Allowing other people/companies to post for you is not cool.

iusefirefox November 25, 2008 at 8:46 am

I like the ingenuity of this company, but I don’t think I like the fact that they are pretty much spamming twitter with this service.

Nicholas Chase November 25, 2008 at 9:26 am

John,

I do not want Twitter cluttered up with commercial applications. In it’s pure form it is useful. If we open the floodgates to every marketing scheme Twitter will be compromised, not to mention all the database bloating that Twitter will experience!

I will not be a Magpie for any amount of money!

Thanks for the post,

Respectfully, Nicholas Chase – ‘the video guy’ from BlogWorld Expo
http://donotreadthisblogunless.blogspot.com/

MikeWayne November 25, 2008 at 9:48 am

I’ve thought about it myself, the money they “claim” I could make would cover my monthly car payment! In the end, I decided against it. It’s not worth it to lose my followers. They follow me for my posts, not to be sold to…

Katybeth November 25, 2008 at 9:50 am

Nope. I would not be a Magpie and I would stop following anyone who sent my this kind of tweet. Of-course I am not a realy player with a lot of followers, anyway…but I am hoping the real players won’t play.

Antoine November 25, 2008 at 9:54 am

Spam is spam – invasive, impersonal, and annoying. Everything Twitter is not. I’m blocking anyone who ‘magpies’ me instead of writing something even mildly interesting. Even if it’s about what their dog had for breakfast.

Tina McAllister November 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

Spam is ANYTHING that is a promotional item and is unwanted. So if anyone tweets about their product or service, how their coaching is 25% off…that is still spam. Not necessarily the icky spam we typically disdain, but spam nonetheless…

Tina McAllister November 25, 2008 at 9:58 am

I have mixed feelings about magpie. When I first heard about it I immediately recoiled in disgust. But then I gave it more thought.

A LOT of people are promoting products or services via tweets. I would say 98% of twitter users promote their own stuff on a daily/weekly basis. No problem tooting their on horn, right?

But the smart ones add in many tweets that are more personal in nature, they reply to other tweets, etc. They don’t make it all about the personal promotion, affiliate links, etc.

I wouldn’t unfollow a person for an occasional magpie tweet. If it was every other tweet, then yeah, I’d probably be annoyed and drop that person.

But that is the same for someone who tweets ALL THE TIME about their freakin’ Squidoo lenses, or their affiliate links, etc.

It’s about moderation when you come down to it.

Tris November 25, 2008 at 10:15 am

John, beyond the my followers will be pissed (I don’t even have ads on my personal blog, though I should really), what I’m most skeptical of is the whole “you can make x….” pitch.

At Qumana we tried to do this with contextual ads that bloggers would place in posts. It was simple, easy and blogger controlled. The technology wasn’t hard, it was getting advertisers to pay descent CPCs that was the challenge.

I think people are going to sign up, see their followers abandon them, and then not even see the payoff.

I don’t mind Twitter monetizing, I just think it’s bad to monetize your tweets. Almost like trying to monetize your own emails to friends and family.

The link in this comment is to my original post on the topic when it came out.

Abdul November 27, 2008 at 4:07 am

Guess it got filtered out!

Nikhil Gupta November 25, 2008 at 10:47 am

seems like I posted about Magpie, long back when the service was launched (to be exact three days after the service initiated)…
http://isthisnikhil.com/make-money-with-twitter/
but now I can see, the more followers I have, magpie stops working (ocourse lack of advertisers)

you can ocourse check some initial responses on the service in this post..
always love the feedbacks…

Bas - Istanbul Expat November 25, 2008 at 11:01 am

I’m not going to use the service since I don’t want to spam my followers. In the past, through services as Entrecard, I’ve booted people from my favourites list because they were running pay-per-post ads on their blogs. I absolutely dislike crappy paid-for content and will not put up with it… especially if it’s unrelated to a blog’s content.

That’s how I’ll probably react to magpie ads too.

Sam November 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

Tina’s got it bang on. nth else to say.

Mieke Janssens November 25, 2008 at 11:03 am

I joined Magpie as a publisher about a week ago, and I’m still waiting for the first ad to appear. The ad I submitted as an advertiser hasn’t been approved yet (has been submitted 5 days ago).
This isn ‘t really increasing my motivation to start/keep using Magpie…

I mainly signed up to check out the service – I’m not really keen on seeing an ad every 2 or 3 tweets. It’s hard enough to follow up on all of them without those ads…

BusinessX November 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Keep up updated on your progress on this, it would be interesting from a users prospective.

Stacy Lang November 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

First – twitter is unique in that it IS okay to advertise – in a sense. Think about @zappos or all the real estate people. Travel agents. The difference is, when someone needs something, they post, they INVITE a sales pitch. This gives a smart marketing company or person the opportunity to jump in and offer services. Hopefully by this time they’ve built up some “cred” by being real, interacting in ways other than just being a sales bot.

Second – I’ve got someone with magpie in their stream. Granted they’re not anyone I follow faithfully, they’re just there, hidden in my low priority stream of tweetdeck. But that advertising? Annoying. I’m ready to block him. It fits right in with those people who I follow that immediately ask me to subscribe to their blog, or buy their product.

If I want it, I’ll find you. Build a connection and when I need it, you’ll be top-of-mind. That’s how twitter works, and how advertising is evolving. Stop with the shove-it-down-our-throats advertising please.

ACTIVER November 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

well, i think idea of Magpie won’t be popular as much it seems till now, until twitter introduce its own monetizing plan to get the readers ready for that. I hope many will agree with me.

Majority are still looking it as big NO, well scenario can be changed as soon as person with huge followers start using it and share the revenues with his followers..

This is my all over analysis

Free Web Hosting November 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

I’ve never known you to be one to sit on the fence john.

Someone like you could make a lot more just tweeting aff links to reasonable products every once in a while.

Also, you need to come to some sort of arrangement with bluefur and start getting commisions on your referrals.

Joel McLaughlin November 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

I wouldn’t do it. If you have so many followers, you should be able to monetize without running the risk of dinging your reputation.

ECS Dave November 25, 2008 at 11:06 am

I think not at this time…

Concerns about security, and about actually SPAMMING my followers
prevent me from being a “Magpie”.

Be Well!
ECS Dave

Christine B November 25, 2008 at 11:15 am

I’m so not interested …. I like the indirect way you mentioned, John. More personal I think. Plus – I don’t want 2000+ followers – I’ve been trying to follow my followers (within limits) and that would make me nutty! :)

Thanks for the good info. as always John.

Make money online November 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm

I don’t think you can make so much..

Ben Moreno November 26, 2008 at 2:45 am

I will have to agree with you on this one John. I personally don’t care for twitter that much but I still use it once and awhile. It is no doubt a popular service right now but it is not that great. I use it mostly for posting my blog posts automatically with a plugin.

Do you use that plugin?

Li Weng November 26, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I think people will be naturally against it, and because there’s a #magpie tag. It’s almost like telling people I’m an ad, don’t click!

liciece November 29, 2008 at 3:46 am

I’m scared that my personal account gets spam if I join that.So I’ll wait and see too.

Steven-Sanders December 10, 2008 at 9:28 am

Here’s an answer to your do i want to be a magpie question!

Don’t Be A Magpie

DoublePlus Ecommerce December 11, 2008 at 5:48 am

Great, let’s turn Twitter and every thing else into a spam source while we’re at it.

Lenin Nair December 12, 2008 at 12:58 am

From your end question, I take it that you want to run magpie and see if you lose followers! Is that so John?

Abdul November 27, 2008 at 2:59 am

Now I’m starting to doubt my strong hatred for Twitter, a little followers and cash might not hurt!