Twitter parties are fun, fast-paced events that are free to attend. They are billed as being open to everyone who has signed up for a Twitter account. Come, mingle, learn something new, chat about an informative topic, and maybe win a prize! Sounds simple enough, right?
But on occasion, there’s a bouncer at the door who excludes some from attending. His name is Twitter, and his reasons for not allowing admittance into his search function—the key to being part of any Twitter party—can be pretty vague.
I’ve seen it happen to a few attendees and even one host: they have a Twitter account with many followers and have sent hundreds of tweets, but come party time, they cannot ‘join in.’ Their tweets are making it out into the Twittersphere, but since they are not included in Twitter’s search function, they don’t show up in a search for a particular hashtag, even if they tweeted it. So what gives?
Your account may be functioning properly to some extent: your tweets might still be seen by your followers, but chances are you’ve been prevented from showing up in Twitter search. Since aggregator programs (like Tweet Chat, Tweet Grid) rely on accessing Twitter search to find those tweets containing a specific hashtag, you are thus ‘left out’ of the party.
To see if your account has been blocked from search, log on to Twitter, and enter the following in the search box at the top of the screen:
If you don’t get any results, your account is not showing up in search. Your followers most likely can still see all of your tweets. However, to properly participate in a chat or party, your tweets need to show up in Twitter search. If your tweets aren’t showing up in search, what could be happening? According to Twitter, here are some reasons:
1). Incomplete Bio You might not have completely filled out your name and bio in your profile (so it might look like an account set up for spamming).
2). New or Low Activity Account You might not yet have tweeted much, thus not looking like a legitimate account or your account might be brand-new.
3). Spammy Content Your tweets might be considered spammy if you tweet the same tweet or link over and over, post the same content across different accounts, use bots or sending automated tweets & replies, you might be marked as a spam account. If you are frequently retweeting tweets from other accounts that might considered to be spam, your account also could be tagged as being a contributor to spammy content.
4). Third Party Apps If you gave your username/password to a third party app that is updating other accounts with similar content, then you might be blocked.
So what can you do if you are blocked from Twitter search? First, try to fix your account (complete your profile, start tweeting if you have a new account, stop tweeting the same link or same content repeatedly). It might take some time, but if you follow Twitter’s guidelines for best practices, your tweets should start to appear back in search. If you’re at your wits end and feel that your account should be in good standing, contact Twitter to open a support ticket to look into the problem. There’s a chance that you are doing nothing wrong; your account just might be one of the unfortunate ones experiencing an ongoing problem.
In the meantime, if Twitter parties or chats are on your social agenda, you might want to set up another account, and start tweeting from it asap. With any luck–and with time–you should be on your way to partying or chatting it up on Twitter again.