Over on Foursquare and Gowalla, badges are all the rage. Checked in to your office bathroom more than five times? You’ve unlocked the dysentery badge!
On other networks however, these tiny icons seems a little superfluous. Logged in to Facebook 1000 times...so have all your friends...
Still, this hasn’t deterred the founders of the roguishly named Twadges from setting up a similar service for Twitter, awarding tweeters for frequency, followers and obscure criteria such as ‘Joined Twitter before Oprah’.
Why Ms.Winfrey should be the chosen barometer of Twitter success is unclear as she doesn’t appear in the site’s top ten, but plenty of other famous faces do, Which means that the site does have a definite plus, its ability to rank influence and engagement.
Finding useful influencers is the Holy Grail for marketers on Twitter, and while there are badges available for the 1,000 and 10,000 follower marks, other badges celebrate the amount of links a user has posted, reference to coding languages and levels of profanity.
All of these are useful indicators for marketers who need to find the right voice for their product.
By introducing a competitive element there’s also the chance that the system will motivate regular tweeters to change the way they tweet, posting more links, swearing less (or more) or chatting about new subjects as they vie for new badges.
Right now the site is small news, with around 3,500 users, but there’s definitely potential for growth.
What do you think? Will a challenge element work on Twitter, or will the community’s focus on integrity make this a non starter?