Twitter: Nearly 23 million ‘bots’ among tweeter users

New York, Aug 12: As many as 23 million of its 271 Million Active Users (MAUs) are not humans but “bots”, says microblogging site Twitter in its new filing. According to it, “up to approximately 8.5 percent” of the accounts it considers active are automatically updated “without any discernible additional user-initiated action”.

Twitter bots are essentially computer programmes that tweet of their own accord. The new disclosure clarifies an earlier statement that 14 percent of MAUs access the service outside of the official website and mobile apps by using Twitter’s application programming interface (API).

In a statement, Twitter specified that the 14 percent figure “included certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications”.

While people access Twitter through its website and other clients, “bots” connect directly to the Twitter mainline, parsing the information in real time and posting at will. “Only 11 percent of MAUs accessed Twitter from applications that the company does not own like Tweetbot or Flipboard,” it added.