We’ve just released a Chrome plugin that will add PeerReach ranks to your Twitter timeline. Get it from the Chrome Web Store while it’s hot!
The 2103 The Next Web conference was super-exciting for PeerReach!
First of all we were selected to be in the finals of the startup rally – at which we are able to present to a group of several hundred web geeks just exactly what we are currently working on at PeerReach and what’s on our current roadmap.
Below you’ll find the entire presentation which contains a detailed overview of our plans for the next few months.
Since celebrities discovered Twitter, many fake and parody accounts were created. When baseball manager Tony La Russa threatened to sue Twitter over one of these fake accounts, they decided to verify some accounts with the well known tick mark. The first verifications in 2009 were only for celebrity accounts, but when Twitter discovered that the verified status was very wanted, they made the verification also available for their commercial partners.
Produced in association with Starcom Amsterdam
After the NY Times and Wall Street Journal got hacked, it’s now Twitter that announces it has possible been compromised. It’s not the least important accounts that have been affected: @barackobama, @nytimes (yes, them), @reuters, @cnn and @foxnews are just a few that have possibly been compromised and need to reset their passwords.
In the last 24 hours, about 250.000 twitter users have received an email with the urgent request to reset their passwords. Twitter has detected suspicious activity and published this announcement:
“As you may have read, there’s been a recent uptick in large-scale security attacks aimed at U.S. technology and media companies. Within the last two weeks, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have chronicled breaches of their systems, and Apple and Mozilla have turned off Java by default in their browsers.
This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later. However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information – usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords – for approximately 250,000 users.
As a precautionary security measure, we have reset passwords and revoked session tokens for these accounts. If your account was one of them, you will have recently received (or will shortly) an email from us at the address associated with your Twitter account notifying you that you will need to create a new password. Your old password will not work when you try to log in to Twitter.
Though only a very small percentage of our users were potentially affected by this attack, we encourage all users to take this opportunity to ensure that they are following good password hygiene, on Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet.”
Here I stop quoting Twitter because a ‘very small percentage of our users’ is extremely misleading. By correlating the reported hacks on Twitter it becomes obvious that only early-adaptors are affected that subscribed to Twitter before 15 June 2007.
Of the 100 most influential accounts in Politics 17% has been affected. Here is the list with their rank in our Politics PeerGroup.
Of the Webtech top100 70% has been affected, such as:
Of the 100 most influential accounts among journalists and media 22% has been affected:
|The New York Times||@nytimes||#1|
|Reuters Top News||@Reuters||#2|
|BBC Breaking News||@BBCBreaking||#22|
|BBC News (World)||@BBCWorld||#30|
We have 1,370 accounts with 1,000,000 followers or more, and 67 (5%) of them are affected.
If the hackers have 250,000 encrypted passwords in their possession they have all time of the world to break these passwords. Although the compromised accounts are forced to change their passwords, many are likely to have re-used passwords for other applications such as email, domain names and other critical services. This gives the criminals great possibilities, in combination with Social Engineering, to continue their campaign against other media sources.
The financial world is increasingly using social media platforms like Twitter. In fact, Twitter recently started to support the cashtag, a hashtag where the # is replaced by the dollar sign – like $AAPL, for example.
However, the dramatic negative impact that a single tweet by a small account can have became very clear on Wednesday, 29 January. An account posing as Muddy Waters, the influential equity research firm founded by Conrad Block, posted the following tweet about Audience Inc ($ADNC), a Nasdaq-listed US manufacturer of computer chips.
$ADNC AUDIENCE the noise suppression company being investigated by DOJ on rumoured fraud charges Full reort to follow
— Conrad Block (@Mudd1waters) January 29, 2013
As a result, the stock price plummeted by 25%. And, those behind the hoax lost no time taking advantage of the market’s reaction by buying low and selling soon after when the share price recovered.
$ADNC There is NO report. This is a hoax. MW does not know this company.
— MuddyWatersResearch (@muddywatersre) January 29, 2013
The Verified status on Twitter is typically reserved only for VIP accounts with 100k followers or more, or for clients buying advertising space at Twitter Inc. In the past, the number of followers was more indicative of the trustworthiness of an account, but it’s become more commonplace to buy followers, and it’s cheaper, too – 1000 followers cost less than 10 dollars.
PeerReach enables you to diffentiate real accounts from fake ones by means of an algorithm which looks at followers from you own expertise area. For example, for the official account of @muddywatersre we have the following:
PeerReach identifies that Muddy Waters is influential in Finance and Business, as one might expect from their official account. The profile page shows that one of the most reputable finance bloggers @zerohedge is following @muddywatersre. When it comes to the hoax account, PeerReach focuses on its followers. Since none of them have any authority, PeerReach can identify that there are no expertise areas found for @mudd1waters, so the account is fake. This hoax would have been detected by PeerReach no matter how many followers the perpetrators had purchased.
Yesterday Twitter uncerimoniously passed through the #1,000,000,000 userid mark. Some analysis by PeerReach shows which groups and countries brought about its success.
On March 21, 2006 the very first Twitter message was posted by Jack Dorsey (@jack). The growth has been exponential since then. Each Twitter account has an unique id and yesterday at 21:33:02 CET account number 1,000,000,003 was created by @johnhn7 (already suspended) and 1,000,000,004 by @VerlWalkingElk. It seems Twitter didn’t pay much attention to this special moment, or they would have made sure that account 1,000,000,000 was registered and remained un-suspended.
Since not every number corresponds to a Twitter account, the real number of accounts is actually lower than 1 billion. The total number of Twitter accounts is approximately 650 million.
The first boost for Twitter came when it was displayed on a couple of screens during the SXSW conference in March 2007. Many people from the webtech community signed up, which is clearly visible in the graph below. The graph shows the adaption of Twitter for the main expertise areas that are identified by PeerReach. After the bloggers and marketeers also journalists start seeing the use of Twitter.
By 2009 the celebrities from music, film, television and sports started embracing Twitter and they attracted a large population of new people. In April 2009 Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) was the first celebrity to get more than 1 million followers. Nowadays, there are over 1,300 accounts with more than a million followers. Lady Gaga being the one with the biggest audience of about 32 million, just a million more than Justin Bieber.
Most of the Twitter millionaires are based in the USA, but also the UK, Brasil and Indonesia represent many huge accounts. The popularity in non-English speaking countries has been a good reason for Twitter to start offering localised versions of their service.
September 2012 marks the one year anniversary of the PeerReach idea. A lot has happend the last year. We launched our private beta in April, incorporated in July and we have grown to a team of six. We are currently working hard on releasing the website but we took one day off and treated ourself to a day of sailing so we could look back at what we’ve already accomplished in the last twelve months.
Stay tuned the next few weeks, we have some great news to announce!
Last week our home town Amsterdam was transformed into startup capital during The Next Web Conference 2012. Of course we had to be present at this great event so we got ourself a nice startup boot where de showed demos of our yet to be launched website.
During the conference we also had the honour of showing Robert Scoble, the number one blogger based on our PeerReach ranking, our website and some cool new products we are working on.
One of our founders, Nico Schoonderwoerd, had the honor of giving a small talk during Twitter Teatime Amsterdam. He held a small presentation on how we use the Twitter API and how to cope with the massive amount of data on the Twitter platform.
Our gratitude goes out to Sam for organizing the evening and inviting us to share our story.
Yesterday, late in the afternoon, we were called if we had any interest in appearing in one of the Netherlands most popular TV-shows: De Wereld Draait Door. Of course we had! We told our system admin Ivo that we might have some extra visitors on our webserver that runs in the cloud with Amazon. Normally we would put some extra servers for such an event, but there was too little time to prepare for this.
But as peerreach is not live yet, the problem was not that big. The most important was that the our landing page where people can leave their email address would remain online. Around 20.00 Zlatan came on air, and within a couple of seconds hundreds of people were typing peerreach.com in their browser. Ivo had to restart the webserver once, but from then on everything was under control.
The host of the program was Mathijs van Nieuwkerk and he asked Zlatan if having a Peerreach may give him a discount when buying a new suit. Indeed, he may get a discount, replied Zlatan. You can watch for yourself here how their conversation continued. (if you understand Dutch)