The reasoning seems be that these social networks are supposed to be pristine and pure zones untainted by marketing. After all, that's what they were meant for, right?
Well, how come no one asks that about Google? How come everyone is fine with "ruining" Google with their marketing messages. How come everyone is fine with trying to game Google to get their sites to the top of the rankings?
After all, Google was "intended" to provide the best and most relevant information for the user, wasn't it? It wasn't designed to be a marketing tool for us. Google is even somewhat hostile to marketers.
But we marketers insist on using Google for our own nefarious purposes. Not as the owners intended. We tread on the pure experience of search.
If we must get listed, we should only try get our pages ranked for keywords where the user is clearly, clearly searching with commercial intent, right?
To me it's all a bunch of BS.
I market. I look for places to do it. Heck, If I could have my links or opt-in or flashing widget screaming "CLICK HERE NOW!!!" on every page of Twitter without paying the millions it would take (if they would even consider it), then I would. Same with every other social media site. And although I don't depend on Google or SEO, if I could magically rank first for every keyword on Google with just a landing page or salesletter, then I would.
To me, these are just places to market. The owners want to make money, I want to make money. The trick is how to do it to maximize earnings. Notice I didn't say to provide a great and barely intrusive user experience. I said to maximize earnings. For my company. That may mean subtle, it may mean all-out.
Heck, If I could have every minister in America endorsing my websites and giving a link from the pulpit every Sunday, then asking the congregation for testimonials and a rousing "AMEN!" you can bet I would.
I market. I sell. And these social media sites are, to me, just new places to figure out how best to do so. Nothing more.
Just like Google is to most everyone on this forum.