Buddy Media and Twitter have partnered on an "age-screening" solution for brands who want to check on followers where age-sensitive products are concerned, like alcohol.
The free service for marketers has been in beta-testing for a months with a select group of alcohol brands including Brown Forman’s Jack Daniels, Jim Beam’s Skinny Girl feed, and MillerCoors' Coors Light and Miller Lite.
“Until now, companies have had to develop their own custom, one-off “age-screening” solutions. The result has been a patchwork of solutions with different approaches, processes and levels of success,” wrote Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow.
Lazerow blogged on the details of how it works:
1. A user clicks to follow an alcohol brand's Twitter feed.
2. The brand automatically privately Direct Messages the user with a link to age.twitter.com.
3. The user visits age.twitter.com and enters their age; this information is not shared with the brand.
4. If the user meets the age threshold set by the brand, they will automatically follow the brand. If the user does not meet the age threshold the brand has set for their country, they will be unable to continue following the brand.
Buddy Media’s recent acquisition by Salesforce.com for $689 million in cash and stock underscores the increasing role social networking plays in marketing.
This age-screener “is a solution that makes marketers’ lives easier, without creating extra work for the brand or the user,” said Lazerow.
Still, they can't esure that users tell the truth.
As VentureBeat raises a brow, “we’re pretty sure kids are hip to the practice of lying about their ages when it suits them best. That and unless a brand’s account is private, anyone can read the company’s tweets without needing to be a follower. But hey, the tool is, at the very least, a convenient option that helps brands dot their i’s and cross their t’s with legal.”
Interested companies can sign-up for this feature at age.twitter.com to submit a brand for approval.