Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

How To Stop Twitter Auto DMs

A while ago I held a poll on whether you like or dislike automatic Twitter direct messages, the majority of you dislike them. These are the automated private messages you receive upon following someone. They often include links to their blogs, sites, etc. Sometimes they are created by newbies who don’t realize how annoying they are, more often they are lame “marketing” schemes.

Two services used to create auto DMs are SocialToo and TweetLater. Both are useful services, but the auto DM function is incredibly annoying.

I am very happy to write that both have opt out options now. Kudos to both companies for adding them.

For SocialToo log in and scroll down the page until you see the tick box, tick it (image below).

How to stop Twitter auto DMs

For TweetLater visit:

You may also want to send the auto DM sender this link:

I hope this helps.


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  • Dave, I'm completely fascinated by the problems you raise that you and others have on Twitter. This is yet another one I'm perplexed by. So, people are getting DMs that are automatically generated by other people? I follow and am followed by close to 700 people and I have to say this has never happened to me ever. Am I misunderstanding what you are describing?

    Also, I have to wonder again here, as I had on another one of your posts about people getting spammed on Twitter, how much of this is caused by one thing: automatically following everyone that follows you. I only follow people I see are real people having real conversations by reading what they share.

    I totally enjoy your posts about Twitter, but I'm stumped again. Sorry for bringing this up yet again. I'm just curious as I've never heard of an auto DM. Thanks for the education!

  • Thanks for the comment Christian. Unfortunately, spammers tend to auto follow you. This becomes a real problem If you accept all followers. They then unfollow you to increase their numbers to make them appear legit.

    I understand you don't follow back everyone, I try to, but it's difficult. It's different strokes for different folks.

    The point here is that once you follow them back, you receive an automated direct message. This usually includes a link to said spammer's splog or worse. Either way, if you receive DMs as text messages (which I do) this can get costly depending on your plan. For example, Canadians get screwed on their mobile plans.

    It's also a time waster to have to determine which DMs are authentic and which are pointless. I understand that some people set this up not meaning any harm, but it's plain annoying.

    The point to Twitter is to be authentic, so an automated direct message of any kind is an insult. That's my two cents.


  • Do they also offer a “retaliation” feature that sends the offender 50 DMs in a row? I presume the auto-DMers still read their own DMs; perhaps that's foolish of me.

    For the record, I've only gotten one auto-DM, but then with 1/20 as many “followers” as you, I'm not much of a honeypot for spammers.

  • Ha ha! Good idea. :-)

    Poor spelling and extreme brevity brought to you by iPhone.

  • It's a little too ironic that I arrive at your site complaining about Twitter Auto DMs and I'm met with a big 'ol popup asking me to answer a few questions. An auto DM can be abused, but it can also be a very useful tool to introduce yourself. It's also not SPAM, by following the person you just opted into communications from them. That can't be said for your popup.

    With much respect!

  • Thanks Doug. The popup only occurs from time to time, it's there for me to
    get a better understanding of how my visitors are experiencing my blog. I
    get great insight from the comments, but I understand how it can be annoying
    for some folks. To be honest, I've had it on there for some time now, it
    might be time to remove it. Thanks for the reminder.

    The auto DM is annoying if it's not *really* from you. You're right that
    they are not spam, but they are unsolicited (like spam). If I follow you I'm
    following *you*, I don't expect to hear back from a robot, even if the robot
    is programmed by you. Know what I mean?

    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your take on it. Cheers.


  • I do think the OptMeOut is a good move. Ironically, the AutoDMs help me to decide quick and early whether or not I wish to continue following the Twitterer. “Get Rich Quick” DM = unfollow. “Read my latest post on SEO” will get me to click through. I use it as a bit of a litmus test.

    I recognize the reason for your popup and didn't mind it at all… I was just busting on you. After all – that robot was programmed by you, right? ;)

  • Ha ha. Thanks, I can totally understand where you're coming form.
    Actually, I didn't write the popup at all, but you'll be relieved to know
    that it was written by 4Q. 4Q is none other than “the” analytics ninja,
    Avinash Kaushik.


  • i agree with you on this completely.visited your blog first time today.but will surely come again.

  • I find a use for the Auto DM. I run a job board that talks to twitter through the API. When a follower joins (busy days can see 100+ followers) I auto DM them asking to sign-up and create a seeker profile. Too much to DM each one.

    They enter their email, twitter name, category, and location. When a job is posted that matches their profile I shoot them a DM to keep the noise down and targeted.

    We also shout each job into the stream so that it is searchable by the hashtag #jobs and citys, keywords.

    I agree with the get rich quick crap, or read my really lame blog, wanton self promotion. Anyway good read.

  • Thanks Mike. That sounds like a fantastic use of it. Nice work on that man.
    We all know that jobs are scarce these days, so helping people find work is
    awesome. Keep it up.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Thanks for this post.I cringe when I get an auto-dm on my phone. Have they changed their options over at SocialToo since your post? I don't see option to Turn off the DM's from SocialToo users as you have it listed. There is an area to check off for auto dms from other services but it doesn't mention their own. Do you think it's included as well, or, am I just blind??

  • If you like someone enough to follow them, why would you care what auto-dm they send you?

    I guess I just really find people that follow anything and everything they see to be just as annoying as the spammers they follow.

  • If you like someone enough to follow them, why would you care what auto-dm they send you?

    I guess I just really find people that follow anything and everything they see to be just as annoying as the spammers they follow.