Nike modifies Twitter RSVP

Late last year, Nike began its infamous Twitter RSVP process to curb the all the violence and issues occurring during campouts outside of Nike Stores around the country during first come, first serve releases. Hot releases, such as Retro Jordans, could only be purchased through a twitter RSVP where one reserves their size at their local Nike Store to be picked up during release day. While it was a step in the right direction, it didn’t take long for it to be exploited. Enter the RSVP Sniper. The RSVP Sniper was an automated bot programmed to look for the initial tweet opening up the RSVP process and within seconds reply to it automatically and with almost 100% certainty get the user programmed within it their size of whatever release was being RSVPed.

805582_62484332It didn’t take long for the RSVP sniper to spread like a wildfire. It was slowly becoming a “if you can’t beat it, join it” thing for sneakerheads. The purchase price of the RSVP Sniper program was sometimes going into the hundreds of dollars, a price some felt was worth it to guarantee their pair. The RSVP Sniper was the new sneaker reseller and the outrage was made very clear when this was first unearthed a few months ago. In the wake of the RSVP Sniper controversy, Nike has implemented counter measures to ensure the Twitter RSVP process cannot be gamed by a computer program.

In an updated FAQ, the key component of the direct message users have to reply with, the product hashtag, is now embedded into the image of the release. At this point, it is difficult for a computer program to discern which word in an image is the correct hashtag which means that a human user will mostly likely be the one to respond to the RSVP. This method is essentially the CAPTCHA employed on most websites to ensure that a human user is interacting with the website. The rest of the DM (First & Last Name with size) remains the same.

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I personally really like the step Nike has taken to make releases a lot more fair for everyone. A lot of people have complained to Nike about the unfair advantage automated bots brought to the table and it is nice that they have, to some degree, listened and put forth a solution to that problem. The sneakerhead craze has grown and it is clearly bursting at the seams. While not everyone will be able to secure their pair, this will at least, for the time being, level the playing field in terms of Twitter RSVP. Get ready to start online camping and practice your touch typing because a few seconds might be the difference between you securing your size or not during the next hot release. What you do think? Are you content with the change Nike has made?




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