Spamming (specially email spamming) is nothing new. But there is a dangerous ongoing trend of mainstream online media and websites turning hardcore spammers in the name of publicity, promotion and advertising. Social networking services like Tagged.com have turned into spam sites. A simple and random check reveals that this trend of mainstream websites turning to spam is lopsided in favor for networking and dating sites.
Take the example of this popular Indian
dating matrimonial website – Shaadi.com, which lets users to register and create their profile and browse through the profiles of million other profiles and contact them via email, phone or chat. Shaadi.com boasts of touching the hearts of more than 20 million people across India and outside. Now check out this mail I got from them yesterday –
The email subject read like this – “Remember me? Priya Here“. I have known at-least a dozen Priyas all my life, so wondered which Priya is this. When I opened the mail, there she was – a gorgeous, hot and sexy model from UK who was waiting to be my life partner! Clicking on Yes, No or View Profile would not have made much of a difference, as all of them point to the sign-up page.
If you are dumbstruck and wondering how this amounts to spam, one, it has a misleading personalized subject, two, has some random model portrayed as my potential partner and three, irrespecive of what I click, I am always taken to their registration page. The worst part is that I haven’t subscribed to any of their mails. The mail had come via Fropper.com, another Indian social networking site which owns a part of Shaadi.com.
As any sane person would do, I immediately looked for a way to unsubscribe from these nonsense. Luckily enough, they gave a quick link at the bottom of the mail to unsubscribe from these promotional crap mails. Clicking on that unsubscription link took me to another page which had 2 popups ready to woo me into another death trap – registration for a dating site!
It’s not just about Shaadi.com
The point of the article is not definitely about Shaadi.com’s cheap marketing skills as they are not the only ones out there. Social networking websites like Ibibo send spam SMS like “flirt with your friends” which are even harder to get rid off as there are no options for unsubscribing from them.
I am sure this trend of mainstream websites resorting to spamming is not restricted to countries like India, Brazil and China. Even the developed countries have had this problem before.
Note: Some of you might see the ads of services discussed above on which I have minimal hold. *SIGH*
Update: Suraj shares an old article which is very much related to what I was trying to say.