Twitter, Analytics, and the Frustration of Silence

14 January 2014 by Matt Shipman, posted in Uncategorized

This (short) post is not explicitly about science communication. It's more about the lack of communication. But I'm hoping that maybe, finally, it will help me get some feedback from Twitter. (Note: this post has been updated. See bottom of story.)

I write, and speak, fairly often on subjects related to communication metrics: how we measure the impact of our blogs, social media, etc. I'm currently working on two large(ish) projects that deal explicitly with social media metrics. So it would make sense for me to talk about Twitter's free analytics platform. But I can't write about the Twitter analytics platform because I can't access it.

You are probably thinking that I'm screwing up somehow, and that my user error is preventing me from logging in. I thought that too, at first. But it's not user error.

I've used several different browsers on several different machines. None of them let me access Twitter analytics. I've had friends log in to Twitter Analytics from the exact same machine that I'm using, and it works. When I try to log in, it doesn't work. (On Firefox, it tells me that "The page is redirecting improperly," on Chrome, it says there's a redirect loop, etc.)

I've cleared cookies and caches, called in developer friends, etc. No dice. The problem is not with the machines or browsers I'm using. And my requests for assistance from Twitter have largely been unanswered, though I did get one response, telling me I had to buy advertising in order to access the "free" analytics platform. Since no one else I know had to buy advertising in order to access the analytics platform, I'm assuming that either the only customer support person at Twitter who responded to my request is wrong, or that Twitter is no longer allowing users to sign up for its free platform.

So, this leaves me with two questions. First, will anyone at Twitter help me figure this out? (If you know anyone at Twitter who'd like to help, they can contact me via Twitter - @ShipLives.) Second, if this doesn't get figured out, how do I review a product/service that I can't access or use? (I'm not being snarky, I'm honestly torn about how to handle that last issue.)

Update, Jan. 15: FYI, Twitter got back to me this afternoon, and analytics are really only for paying customers. Twitter has told me that, while some subset of users may have access to analytics, it's really targeted at advertisers. The subset of other users is allowed to use analytics features as, essentially, an experiment. Twitter sees how these users are using the analytics and will ultimately determine how and whether to offer those functions to folks other than advertisers. In short, analytics are not a feature being offered for general use.


2 Responses to “Twitter, Analytics, and the Frustration of Silence”

  1. Chris Reply | Permalink

    I just spent the entire morning trying to figure out same error. We had Twitter analytics running fine until this past Tuesday afternoon - when we started getting the Redirect error. Messaged Twitter support through Twitter, posted problem on a few LinkedIn groups.... no one had any answer. Twitter should just have a redirect to a page that explains what they told you. Yes - Frustration of Silence

  2. Chris Reply | Permalink

    ... entering billing info resolved the problem - and we applied the $100 credit Twitter offers most new advertisers.

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