Skittles set its new website up as a bold experiment with social media as it gave over control of content to users posting comments and media files about the candy. It was meant to encourage as much conversation as possible, so the company put zero restrictions on what could be posted to the website.
But is all publicity good publicity?
News of the new website has spread wildly across the Internet. The page contains a link to Flickr, the Skittles YouTube channel and Skittles Facebook page. The Facebook page was nearing 600,000 friends by this morning Monday and the Twitter feed on the Skittles home page was generating thousands of tweets every hour.
Some people on Twitter were speculating the microblog was slowing down because of the flood of traffic – every time someone mentioned Skittles on Twitter, their post was up on the Skittles page.
This lack of moderation has led to vandalism on the website, especially on the Twitter feed. Skittles has seen derogatory comments about the brand, racist, sexist and other offensive material on the Twitter feed since its launch.
The website is interesting to watch as it moves into uncharted water. The site has drawn criticism and kudos, both in massive doses.
UPDATE: Since this post, Skittles has retreated from Twitter and moved over to a less harsh environment in Facebook. KB