Hi. I'm at TechCrunch and this is an FYI. I saw this and reached out to Tiny Post and got a response. Short version: it was a test they were running and is now being taken down. Slightly longer story here http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/20/tiny-post-bot/
Valid point. I'll update my blog post. But it's difficult to believe that 3rd parties would be that interested in Tiny Post. I can understand 3rd parties interested in gaining followers on Twitter, Pinterest, etc. But Tiny Post? I would imagine they're facing more a traction problem (trying to get users using their app) vs 3rd parties trying to gain more followers.
True, but as a 3rd party spammer/marketer company why would you think Tiny Post is going to be huge?
Usually you'll need some indication that this is the next big thing, or at least that this app is taking off. I just don't see Tiny Post hyped in the press at all.
Also, looking at all the people these fake users are following, most of them aren't active and haven't posted much. Doesn't seem like a flourishing ecosystem where 3rd party marketers would be attracted to.
But then again, I could be wrong. I've added this point to my post and also I've tweeted the Tiny Post founders as well, hoping to hear a reply.
Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't see how it was 'obvious [that] Tiny Post is running these fake accounts as bots in order to fool their users.'
The argument seems to be 'Accounts which look like bots are posting on my otherwise dormant account, therefore the service provider is using shady practices to try and re-engage me.'
It is not a stretch to believe that this is the case, however it is equally plausible (to me) that the alleged bot accounts are run by a third party. I might have missed some aspect of the argument, however.
This is why I think CAN-SPAM shouldn't exempt "transactional or relationship messages" (and I send over 75,000 e-mails a week..!) Every automated/transactional mail, commercial or otherwise, should have an unsubscribe link or mechanism these days due to the noise.