If you're a Twitter user, you've likely come in contact with the spam account @Horse_ebooks at least once or twice, probably when someone you follow discovers him and loses all self control, retweeting every one of his many gems. If, however, you're unfamiliar with the Twittering world's most beloved equine chatterbox, here's a quick summary: @Horse_ebooks is a spambot, created to promote and presumably sell ebooks (Gawker investigated his origins and creator in depth earlier this year). Sometime yesterday or the day before, @Horse_ebooks passed the 100,000 follower mark: a remarkable achievement for a human, but a somewhat stunning one for a bot.
The account Tweets out seemingly random phrases, from seemingly horse-related ebooks, resulting in verbose poetry such as:
Persuade — PersuadePersuadeCannot persuadeCannot " him. Persuasion of no avail. PLACE. A place for To what place ? From what place— Horse ebooks (@Horse_ebooks) August 29, 2012
As well as cryptic nuggets such as:
hummingbirds— Horse ebooks (@Horse_ebooks) August 29, 2012
Rather than selling lots of ebooks, @Horse_ebooks has inadvertently become a Twitter star. Yes, it's all nonsense, but it's beautiful, endearing nonsense, and, as previously noted by Splitsider in an exhaustive early profile, @Horse has really high engagement: almost every one of his Tweets is retweeted or favorited hundreds of times, often within seconds of their appearance. What's interesting about @Horse_ebooks and the milestone of 100,000 followers is that he's proven to be incredibly durable and long-lived. In a world of Twitter fad accounts which are funny for a few days and then quickly fade, @Horse_ebooks has endured, and daily adds recruits to his army, new followers to be delighted and perplexed at his fondness for pyramids.