TweetStalk – How to Follow someone on Twitter Without Them Knowing

Have you ever wanted to follow someone on Twitter and not let them know you are?

OK – I’ll be honest, I’ve never had this desire…. but I’m sure someone out there has….

If so – here’s a way to do it – TweetStalk.

TweetStalk is a Firefox add-on. Once installed it enables you to ’stalk’ another Twitter user when you land on their Twitter page. For example if I wasn’t following Robert Scoble and had TweetStalk installed I’d see this when I visited his Twitter page:

Stalk-Scoble.jpg

I’ve always wanted to stalk Robert – so I’ve just clicked ’stalk’ and I’m taken to TweetStalk to confirm my Stalkerage….

Note: you need to join TweetStalk to use it – and to do so you need to give your Twitter ID and password (some will not want to do this for security reasons). You’ll also need an invitation code…. luckly I have it ’sitening’ (shhh – you didn’t hear it from me).

Once you’ve logged in – here’s how it looks (click to enlarge):

tweet-stalk-scoble.png

Add a few others to stalk and you see them all on your dashboard.

tweet-stalk-everyone.png

TweetStalk also gives you the ability to ‘group’ the people you stalk so you can cluster those that you want to stalk together in groups.

OK – so far Tweetstalk isn’t hugely attractive for me – I’m not wanting to hide from anyone. But one thing that I do find interesting is that TweetStalk allows you to create an RSS feed so you don’t have to login to TweetStalk to see what those you’re stalking are tweeting about.

tweetstalk-rss.png

Now this RSS feature is more useful for me – I just wish that they allowed you to get individual RSS feeds for the groups you create – that’d be interesting.

So – I’m not planning on using TweetStalk any time soon – but I’m sure others will have a use for it. Are you one of them? What do you think?

Comments

  • November 24, 2008

    I’m not using TweetStalk at the moment, but I just might. If I’d like to follow what my competitors in the industry are saying, that would be a way to do that in a structured fashion.
    Other than that, I can’t see any need for the service.

  • November 24, 2008

    The whole point of Twitter for me is interactivity and socializing be it for business or pleasure.

    The words ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ Tweetstalk / Magpie RIP bye!

  • November 24, 2008

    A perfect Tool for CIA or Terrorists :)

  • November 24, 2008

    I mean, what’s the use of following someone on Twitter without them knowing? It seems a little shady to me.

  • November 24, 2008

    Creepy. Like anonymous commenters and blog trolls. Twists usage into something else.

  • November 24, 2008

    Well whats the point stalking someone? I mean what would you do after you have gained this advantage? What would be the benefit out of this ? Twitter is pretty much recorded in about 26 sites anything said is a matter of online public records.

    Here is my twitter ID please stalk me http://www.twitter.com/dantanner

  • November 24, 2008

    There some interesting technology here. Mining data from Twitter using search and feeds can be quite useful, and sooner or later I’d like to get various levels of feeds for different needs, or get at a group of profiles easier than the group interface in TweetDeck.

    Stalking Scoble is certainly the silliest thing I can imagine to do with this technology. No one can possibly pay attention to whether one person follow them when there are so many followers.

    I think that the target user here would someone obsessive enough to use the public profile page for whomever they want to stalk, or a service like TweetLater’s RSSfeeds to have the tweet delivered to their inbox for further storage and research.

  • November 24, 2008

    I think it’s an interesting concept.

    Maybe you want to follow a competitor of yours but you don’t want to unknowingly advertise for them by having them show up in your “following” list (which a LOT of people look at).

    So, maybe it’s not so much about not wanting the person your following know…it’s people who FOLLOW you that you may want to censor.

  • November 24, 2008

    Pass. I don’t see the point. Maybe for creepy government officials … or employers looking for pre-hiring dirt.

  • November 24, 2008

    Creepy and frightening.

  • November 24, 2008
    Diyana Alcheva
    @DiyanaAlcheva

    “Stalking” that’s hillarious. This is like going throught the trouble of creating a fake myspace account so you can spy on your ex girlfriend you were so obssessed with (have heard this happening to people.)

    I am not going to use it as I am on Twitter to openly network and connect with old and new friends.

  • November 24, 2008

    This service makes no sense to me. I can go to http://search.twitter.com enter in any Twitter name that I want and grab the RSS feed. Instant Stalking for the sake of this post.

    Provide services that have some purpose and value. Don’t provide services that are totally pointless and have no meaning.

  • November 24, 2008

    I just want to thank you for all of the useful posts….
    I’m a relative newbie to the twitworld, but I’m finding it fascinating!
    (It was Lars Hilse in Germany who told me that I’d better follow you…..)
    erika

  • November 24, 2008

    Virtual-voyeurism. I guess this could be classified as non-participant observation?

  • November 24, 2008

    As someone who has been (and may still be) stalked online, I find this service disgusting and the promotion of it even worse! Let’s not give creeps more opportunities to victimize, okay?

  • November 24, 2008

    Okay, that’s just creepy.

  • November 24, 2008

    Chris, even more to the point, every Twitter user’s page already has an RSS link at the bottom. You don’t need to do anything with search.twitter.com even.

    Meanwhile, I don’t see what’s “creepy” about it. If your tweets are already public then anyone — yes, anyone — can already just read them without having to “follow” you and you’d never know.

  • November 24, 2008

    Wouldn’t it also be possible to search for @username of the person you want to stalk on search.twitter.com and subscribe to the feed in your feed reader?

  • November 24, 2008

    Furthering what Chris (@wizardelite) says above, you can just go over to the user’s Twitter page and grab their RSS feed (unless their updates are protected) and subscribe to it from the safe confines of your Google Reader. Easy instant stalking without having to give away one’s own username and password.

    Go ahead try it out with the @misentropy feed : http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/15649885.rss

  • November 24, 2008

    Not my “cup of tea.”

  • November 24, 2008

    Thanks – this post helped my so much :)
    Very useful and great that you spread invitation code…

    Many thanks from Lithuanian Twitters and bloggers :)

  • November 24, 2008

    Followed a lead here from Blogging for Noobs.

  • November 25, 2008

    Juts how you say at the beginning its funny that some one want to do this but at the time its common that they would like to do it so if the program exist its becuase some one use it.

    Thank you.

  • November 25, 2008

    I don’t see why anyone would want to use that. Especially if you are looking for more followers

  • November 25, 2008
    Sean

    Does this work when people already have protected their Tweets?
    Sickening, what kind of people do come up with crap like this?

  • November 25, 2008

    This is incredibly unfortunate. But inevitable. The transparency of Twitter was one of the things that made it so uniquely social. Now it becomes a tool for other purposes (spying, “stalking,” whatever you want to call it). This is absolutely contrary to the spirit in which the twitterati have built their followings. I’m so sad to see this. But should have known it would come.

    Nothing gold can stay.

  • November 26, 2008

    TweetStalk now supports RSS feeds for groups! Thanks for the idea Darren.

    For all of those who are creeped and freaked out over the service, you need to get past the name. The name was for fun and we don’t in any way condone actual stalking. However, it is a good way to privately watch someone’s Twitter feed if you don’t want them to know. You can do this already, because everything is public, but now you can do it more easily.

    What can TweetStalk be used for? You can keep an eye on what your kids are tweeting about, you can watch your competition, and you can observe someone that you may want to follow, but aren’t sure about yet. It’s really up to you. But all of this whining about how awful it is and how it goes against the nature of what Twitter is supposed to be is simply ridiculous. It’s either something you want to use or it isn’t, but stop blowing things way out of proportion.

  • November 26, 2008

    Henshaw: “For all of those who are creeped and freaked out over the service, you need to get past the name…The name was for fun…It’s either something you want to use or it isn’t, but stop blowing things way out of proportion.”

    Marketer: You’re right. TweetStalk should not be taken seriously. If Raven SEO Tools had intended to brand TweetStalk as a tool you/they would have considered a name that suggests it actually is a tool (and not a joke). You might have given it a name that inspired credibility and not controversy.
    Guess some people don’t think “stalk” is a fun word. Go figure?

    If the name of the “stalk tool” wasn’t enough to turn a potential user off, then surely words like “whining” and “ridiculous” should do the trick. Guessing the clients of the Raven brand get a gentler response to customer concerns/feedback.

  • November 26, 2008

    @Renee, but there would be no fun with that ;) I do admit…I enjoy watching people get worked up over nothing.

  • November 27, 2008

    @ Jon Henshaw
    Yes, what a happy pursuit that must be for you.
    You could even incorporate those objectives into the company’s mission statement.
    Noble.
    Thanks for your intellectual contribution to building communities.
    Well done.

  • November 27, 2008

    I’m on the same road as you, I don’t really get the point in following people so they don’t know? It’s kind of creepy if you ask me :-)

  • April 9, 2009

    Stalking online – you’re kidding

  • July 17, 2009

    Could this be a reason why number of followers Twitter counts often differs from the number that can be accounted for when checking the list visually?

  • April 4, 2010
    Nota Stalker
    @notastalker

    I wanted to use it to follow someone without them thinking I was stalking them. Ironic, innit?

  • June 21, 2010

    You could always just keep their page as a bookmark and look at it whenever you want to. You don’t need to follow someone to see their page, unless their settings are that way.

  • October 2, 2010
    scooterinjapan

    The reactions to TweetStalk are quite entertaining. Get over it, people. How is using TweetStalk any different from following someone’s blog (it’s called “reading”) without them or anyone else knowing?

  • January 19, 2011
    jerry

    well t dont work with latest firefox. what version do i need ?

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