Is Samsung spamming Twitter?April 26, 2013: 10:35 AM ET
A Galaxy S4 vs. iPhone 5 "shootout" got reported with dozens of identical tweets.
FORTUNE -- Students of screen display technology look forward to the testing laboratory reports of DisplayMate's Dr. Raymond M. Soneira. The one he published Thursday was particularly interesting because it compared the screen of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 with both its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, and its main competitor, the iPhone 5.
His conclusion: The OLED screen technology that he disparaged in previous Samsung Galaxy models had just about caught up to the LCD technology in Apple's (AAPL) co-called Retina displays. In his latest report card, the Galaxy S3 got a B+ and the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 both got As.
Fair enough. Kudos to Samsung.
But a funny thing happened when the results got reported on Twitter. Identical tweets were posted over and over again -- not retweeted, reposted -- under different accounts.
Two versions caught our eye:
- Study shows display on Samsung Galaxy S4 trumps its predecessor, matches the Apple iPhone 5: DisplayMate condu...
- Study suggest GALAXY S 4 display matches iPhone 5 quality: According to research study by Displaymate Technolo...
Not only were they posted two dozen times between them, but judging from the photos attached to the accounts (see above), they were posted by some particularly comely tweeters.
"This is not a bunch of fans just bragging about their great device," suggests the reader who spotted the repeats. "I'm gonna guess this is somehow Sammy's PR shop."
UPDATE: Dr. Soneira did the research I should have done and concluded that Samsung PR is probably blameless on this one:
"How many total tweets are we talking about? Looks like a small fraction of the total. There are over 600 tweets regarding my article, plus Google shows about 6,000 articles and blog hits covering the article. So these tweets that you mention are insignificant from my perspective.
"I looked up the tweets that you referenced ... and they all point to phonearena.com, so it is rather obvious that they are the ones arranging the tweets to generate traffic to their site. You also referenced gsmarena.com. Both of these "arena" websites sell Smartphones, so it is again obvious that they are driving traffic to their websites to sell Smartphones and they write short blog pieces (covering articles like mine) to help them do so. That is the source, not what you speculated..."