Instantly Obsolete: The Danger of Building Your Business on Top of Fickle Social Media

If you’re building your business solely on top of a fickle web-based business like Google, Facebook, or Twitter, I strongly advise you to BE CAREFUL.

All it takes is one tweak of an algorithm… one revision of the Terms of Service… and you could be out of business faster than you can say “Google Slap.”

Perfect example:

ReFollow has built their business by providing a unique service to Twitter users. In seconds they can tell you all kinds of things about your Twitter presence. For instance: who you’re following, but hasn’t followed you back; who hasn’t recently updated their profile; and so on.

I actually like their service and have used it more than once to help clear my Twitter profile of abandoned profiles.

But when I decided to visit their site again, I found a strange message:

As you may have heard, Twitter recently changed their policies (unannounced) regarding the amount of requests (POSTS) that we are allowed to make to their system. As a result, they have blocked the free version of Refollow based on the large amount of users we were supporting. The only solution that Twitter has suggested is for us to balance our requests across many more servers, which is going to cost us a lot more cash! Check out our blog if you want to know more.

The note went on to explain how ReFollow is in the process of revising their services (frantically, I’m sure), introducing paid plans, and, if you are in a hurry, how you can make a one-time payment for at least 30 days of use of the old system.

Fortunately, ReFollow is not entirely out of business. It may even turn out to be a positive change for them. Nevertheless, I believe the point still stands: Never base your entire earning potential on a fickle business that can, on a whim, make all your plans and ideas instantly obsolete.

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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