MTV Burger King Twitter

Will brands lose faith in Twitter following Jeep and Burger King hackings and how will it impact the impending IPO?

By John Buchan

February 20, 2013 | 4 min read

With two major brands - Burger King and Jeep, having seen their Twitter accounts hacked to promote rival brands, and MTV and BET teaming up for a stunt 'hacking', Jon Buchan, CEO of digital marketing agency Render Positive offers his views on how this will impact trust in the social media platform moving forward.

There's a lot of talk right now over whether brands will lose faith in Twitter following the high-profile hacks of both Burger King and Jeep. It kind of misses the point.

It doesn't really matter whether brands lose faith in Twitter or not, as people can still talk about them on Twitter — and will, each minute of every day.

Pandora's box is open and there's no way anyone will ever close it again.

It's worth noting that at no point has anyone said brands will lose faith in the internet, which shows how superficial these conversations are.

Twitter, as absurd as it sounds, is just one small location on the internet, and in fact it's a pretty stable one. The bottom line is that if a brand is online, a brand can get hacked.

Maybe this is the point the hackers are making during Social Media Week — who knows?

It's the new world we're in and the sooner brands get used to it, the better. Hell, use a hack to your advantage. I'm sure Virgin would. The only other option is to move your brand offline. After you.

It goes without saying that Twitter will be working around the clock now to improve its security and make its authentication processes more robust. It will be scouting for the best talent there is to achieve this.

It also goes without saying that brands, from now on, will be far more careful about who gets logins. The penny has dropped that their social media platforms have to be run by dedicated professionals they can really trust, not Kevin and that weird-looking Goth guy in IT.

But come on, who are we trying to kid? There will always be hackers who can take down even the most robust social platforms, just as they can the US Government and any other website they take a fancy to.

Online, anyone can be a target anytime, however 'watertight' their security. Get used to it because it won’t change.

It emerged yesterday evening that MTV and BET (Black Entertainment Television) had jumped on the Twitter hijack wagon. Hats off to them, fast thinking can get you followers.

As ever, this will all blow over. I cannot imagine a scenario where major hacks become a daily occurrence. Yes, they will always happen, but they will happen less. There is too much at stake and there are simply too many security experts out there who will be paid big bucks to make the various social platforms as bombproof as they can.

The hackers will find a way, but it will be hard work and only the better ones will get through.

Wrapping up, will all this affect the potential Twitter IPO? If and when it does happen, unlikely.

By then Twitter will have improved its security for sure. In any case, it will be far more concerned about keeping its growth rate on track and innovation strong, which is what the investors will be looking for — not the odd hack of a brand that, in the grand scheme of things, is no biggy.

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