[Update: Check the comments -- there's a reasonable explanation after all.] Mike Filsaime's new Twitter/Facebook client app has generated a lot of buzz the last few days. For the most part, it looks like a great idea and a useful app (I've noted some of the problems with the beta version in my previous post and comments on it). But this morning, I'm seeing something...screwy.

My server logs show 934 hits in the last 24 hours where the "REFERER" header is set to "app:/TweetGlide.swf". Most of it (918 hits) is going to the URLs of the ads I have running. Great, right? I'm getting traffic from the ads.

I don't think so.

When I check my stats, I see that my ads have shown a total of 3 times. I don't even have anything vaguely approaching 934 advertising credits. Unless everybody's getting a TON of free ad impressions, that can't explain it.

The hits aren't coming from just a few IP addresses, so it's not the 3 people who saw the ad reloading the page a gazillion times each.

Perhaps most telling is that 700+ hits on one page have resulted in zero sales (WAY below my normal conversion rate), and 200+ on the other have resulted in at most 2 or 3 free signups (possibly none -- I haven't bothered checking whether any of the people who signed up in the last day came from TweetGlide).

What gives? I can only guess (what follows is pure speculation).

Is it possible that the app is secretly loading webpages in the background but not displaying them, even from the computers of users who don't see the ads?

Why would Mike do that? To get TweetGlide's name to show up prominently in peoples' referrer logs (some of which appear automatically on peoples' websites)? To make people think TweetGlide advertising brings in more traffic than it really does?

I could be totally wrong. All I know is I'm getting a suspiciously high number of hits that aren't leading to any conversions. Anybody care to explain?

Make that 942 in the last 24 hours.

Reader Comment:
Antone Roundy said:
I'll share my thoughts on two questions: whether to use it, and whether to pay for the account upgrade. * Even if you're not sure whether you're going to use it long term or not, I recommend downloading it now, getting your referral link, and talk...
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