What the hell is #moonfruit ?!

I won't write an essay about Moonfruit as most of you probably heard about it already.

Moonfruit is a website that lets you design your own great looking site in a few easy steps. They have different types of templates (journal, video blog, business, travel blog, etc.) that you can use and customise.

In order to celebrate their 10 year anniversary, they've decided to give away 10 Macbook Pro laptops.Now in order to enter the draw, you simply need to tweet a message with the #moonfruit hash tag. Knowing the popularity of Apple laptops, having a chance to get one for free obviously got the attention of the Twitter community.
The problem lies there. This online contest drew so much attention that at some point, around 20,000 tweets (Twitter messages) were sent every hour using that tag (still around that rate at the moment I'm writing this post).

I searched the #moonfruit tag on Twitter search and within about 5 minutes, there were already over 1,600 results and counting (see below).

Three main issues could be raised:
  1. This kind of contest using Twitter was surely launched in order to profit from the popularity of Twitter. Although this could be very true, it can also lead to an opposite undesired effect. This huge amount of tweets using one similar tag may quickly be seen as some sort of spamming. The Moonfruit will probably benefit from this craze in the end, but many people can have a bad image associated to the website name, and that's one thing you might want to avoid.

  2. Secondly, I have noticed that a lot of people use these commercial hash tags for completely unrelated purposes. Most of which simply want to benefit from the popularity of this keyword with this easy rule: The more popular a keyword is, the more it will be searched and therefore the more people might read your tweet. Hash tags were created in order to discuss a particular topic. But if so many messages become "off-topic", then the whole point of the hash tag is debatable. For example, out of the last 4 tweets containing the #moonfruit tag, 2 persons make a joke, 1 person obviously has no clue what it is, and the last one makes a pointless tweet that doesn't have much sense (to me at least) using multiple tags.

  3. And last but certainly not least, some people have written articles about how these kind of tags could "break" or "kill" Twitter. Don't hesitate to read the article on Mashable concerning the #gorillapenis hash tag attack on Twitter. Personally, I'm not so sure it would actually kill it. However, it definitely does have a negative impact.
In conclusion, brands should definitely be careful on how to use Twitter. In this particular case, the Moonfruit website probably increased their brand awareness by a million but with success rise problems and let's not forget what Newton taught us: "With every action comes an equal and opposite reaction."!

So much said about #moonfruit in this post when the initial purpose of it was to simply give you guys the link :)

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