Glide video messaging app continues to generate high levels of SMS spam complaints

Earlier this year we were seeing a number of reports of SMS spam related to Glide.me, which is a mobile video messaging app.

  • Tried video texting? http://i.glide.me/join
  • Ready for Glide? http://i.glide.me/join
  • Seen Glide? http://i.glide.me/join
  • Tried video texting? http://i.glide.me/join

Glide.me has had a history of spam, including where they admitted that they were spamming and would change their practices, back in July 2013.

More recently we have been seeing ambiguous messages such as the following:

  • Check out this app! 🙂 http://bit.ly/1oXkplq
  • Did you see this? http://bit.ly/1nDEFZT
  • I look good on this! http://bit.ly/1nnTaMw
  • I want to see you! http://bit.ly/1mJeaCi

They all ultimately link to Glide.me, although that isn’t obvious from the information contained in the message. A new bit.ly link is created every 10 minutes, and the message content varies frequently, and this seems to have started around 17th June 2014. A more cynical person might say that Glide knows that their messages aren’t particularly welcome, and are intentionally making them vague and difficult to block.

It appears these messages are being sent directly from your phone, which means you may be paying data and/or carrier fees to send these messages.

Glide.me provides a method of opting out of this spam, but it requires each user to go to the glide.me website and fill in a form to unsubscribe.  This isn’t really sufficient and puts the burden of the receiver of the spam message to find the link and get opted out.  Rather there should be a “reply STOP to unsubscribe” wording included in the text message.  It’s also likely that these messages are in violation of the United States TCPA (Telecom Consumer Protection Act).

The Glide.me EULA also states “You may not, nor assist other parties to . . . Use the Application to send advertising, commercial communications, or spam, or for any other telemarketing purpose”, which is a little ironic.

A few of these bit.ly links I examined had been clicked on > 1,000 times. 1,000 messages every 10 minutes for a month means around 4.3M people have clicked on these links. Not all recipients would have clicked on the links, so the total messages sent would have been even higher.

Some people may have received multiple messages, and some may have not clicked on the link, so these numbers are approximates, but it gives you an idea of the scale of the problem.

We are not the only people to notice this behavior. Reviews on the Google Play store mention that the app will send messages to all your contacts, and a Google search for “glide spam” will return a number of relevant results as well.

If you receive an unsolicited message, and feel it has been intentionally vague and deceptive, you may wish to download the app (don’t run it), give it a 1 star rating, and then delete the app. You should avoid running the app, else it may send the unwanted messages to your own contacts, further propagating the problem.

You should also report all spam text messages to 7726.  We have instructions on how to do this on an iPhone or Android phone.


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