Thursday, October 21, 2010

Twitter Follow Limits

   I keep finding humans on my Time Line stuck at 2001 people they are following.  Nobody likes an "unfollower" I mean who would?  We even have a site which tells us who did the dastardly deed.  There is something sneaky and downright dishonest in the practice, and we tend to see at least one or two disgruntled people whining about being dumped.

    But a little known and even less thought about practice on Twitter is that we are forced to "unfollow" for very practical reasons.

         Twitter Follow Limit    

                Twitter has a limit of 2001 people that you can follow.  When we reach this limit, we are forced to do a couple of things.  1. Sit there and do nothing and look like an idiot.  Or 2.  we can do the rational thing and unfollow some of them.  If you find yourself in this position, then you should probably just use ( free ) and do what Tweepi calls a "Flush".  Go  to the last page of people you are following.  Don't start on the first page, these are the most recent people you just followed today.  You humans are funny.

         Unfollowing Unproductive Tweeps

           ProNetworkBuild, on Twitter has written about this practice extensively on Evan Carmichael and on Smart People Marketing.    
         Put plainly, people who don't tweet are not contributing to your timeline, and those who haven't tweeted in months probably will miss the fact that you unfollowed them. Using this simple logic, when you are in Tweepi, unfollow the unproductive tweeps.  We use the "ratio of followers to following" radial dial button on Tweepi to ascertain who has a high limit.

        The Serial Unfollower - Narcissist and Wanna Be

You can find out for yourself the hard way, but it is much more efficient to not bother with these people in the first place.   We have run statistics over multiple accounts, with various names.  Anyone who has a ratio of over 125% followed to following ratio on Tweepi is not worth your time.  90% of them will eventually unfollow you, and they require two efforts on your part if you wish to experiment.  First you must locate, find and follow them, only to have them dump you, and you have to then go back to Tweepi, and unfollow them!  Surely the unfollowers as self centered as they are don't really care.  They have factored that sort of loss into their scheme.  Of course they have to work harder at being famous don't they?  It is quite humorous when you stop to think that if they worked that hard at following back, their twitter accounts would be twice as large or three times as large, and their fetish for feeling wanted or needed would be sated, wouldn't it? Oh well, on to the next group.

         Unfollow those who don't follow back 

         There are those who don't intend on following you back, unfollow them

         Now like hackers have used Remote Access technology for years to gain access to other's computers, these unfollowers that nobody likes have used the phenomenon for all sorts of things, like being serial unfollowers or wanna be famous narcissists who fancy themselves Bugs Bunny or BP Oil, when really they are just regular people - not famous - like anyone else.  Like the hacker, warping legitimate technology for anarchist purposes, these folks have taken to just not following back. Many of them Retweet you, say hello, and as a last resort even follow you, only to dump you a few days later!  I can spot them by their following ratio, and lately, don't even bother following them, as I know what is coming. Why give them the satisfaction? These poor souls live in a boring world where they have no lives to begin with, and looking like somebody on Twitter must be important because they are playing out their fantasy - let them do it as someone else's expense, not mine or yours.

     When I bother to call them out, and trust old Sam, he will - they have lots of excuses for this antisocial behavior.  Their favorite?  To accuse you of being  a spammer.  "I only unfollow spammy accounts, and your account, Sam fit the bill.."  Really now? I've never duplicated ANY tweet ever, so calling Sammy spammy means they didn't even bother to look at the timeline before accusing me, so don't let them con you. Besides why do they have a following ratio of 200% or 300%? Their logic is thin, to say the least, let alone self justification at being caught redhanded.

      Last week, I gave a guy the benefit of the doubt. He'd followed me for three days, and I refused to follow him back, his ratio was 178 ( tweepi gives statistics, alot of free sites don't ) and I just caved in.  Well, shortly after following him, I was composing a smarmy tweet to the tune of "You better not unfollow me..." and he already had!!  Funny how humans think, we ferrets are much more loyal.

      All of this comes from a legitimate need to unfollow at certain times, and that is list management.  If not for Twitter's follow limits, these nefarious characters could not shroud their actions.  

                          We have had to Unfollow Followers! 

                Yes, the ugly secret is out: in order to get around Twitter's follow limit of 2001 people we were following, all of us has had to actually "flush" good followers.  To give an example.  If I have 1900 people following me, and I am stuck at 2001 whom I follow?  I may have to go to the last page of Tweepi, and "flush" good followers using the "cleanup" feature.  Hypothetically, I would dump temporarily of course, say 500 followers!!  Just to get around Twitter's follow limit.  OUCH!  That hurts.  They catch on quick too.  Within 24 hours, those people are going to reciprocate by dumping me.  We've had to follow back rather quickly later on, after crossing above the 2000 mark.  Twitter frees up the account.  It is as though Twitter is rewarding you for finding out a way around their rules.

                   Well, back to sarcasm and wit, just had to vent, and help a few struggling tweeps with some experience from the front lines.

         Follow Sam on Twitter:

         Look at other Blog Posts by Sam by Going to the Top of this blog


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  1. I unfollow people if they aren't posting anything that interests me enough to read more. I check my list for those who don't follow back about once a year. I'm not really concerned about the whole unfollow thing. I'm more interested in who I follow than who follows me.

    I'd rather not use my Google account in order to leave a comment. Name/ URL works better for me.

  2. I think there are alot of people at 2001 ppl they follow, and Twitter follow limits open up once they get past that goal, Laura. If people are not tweeting or haven't tweeted since April of 2009, they are not contributing to their own timeline, let alone yours. I becomes absolutely essential to unfollow SOMEBODY if we hit Twitter's follow limits. So we have to decide who to unfollow, and I think Sam does a good job explaining quick easy ways to get out of the log jam of 2001 "following".

    I do have other accounts, that like you, Laura, I do not worry so much about it, and list management is no big deal. I agree, not all accounts it is not an issue.

    As far as using your gOOgle account, if one is already logged in, then it's easier, you are right, since BlogSpot is owned by gOOgle, it just makes it easier to post. It's not a privacy thing, so much as an ease convenience. Also Blogger/BlogSpot is a community of bloggers, and they might post comments easier with this system.

  3. Sam, you are the wisest ferret around. Muah!

  4. I read this post and the link and learned more about Twitter than I thought I could possibly learn. It's been kind of hit and miss following for me as I've tried to get the grasp of it. I see and understand why people do it for their business and I don't have a problem with those tweets. For me though, Twitter gas been about the fun of an ongoing conversation I can jump in and out of. I love the links, be it logs, news, photos or whatever and read as many as I can. It truly is an easy way to keep up with blogs I follow, and news too.

    But no one told me it was addicting. :) I doubt I'll ever reach 2001 followers, and admire those of you who keep up with so many. Thanks for so much good information.

  5. This was really helpful. I started catching on about a week ago as far as the people who tweet a greet, wait for a follow and then dump you. So far, I seem to have weeded out most of the least for now. but they're like crabgrass, the more you dig up, the more pop up in future. Great post!

  6. Great article.
    Everyone has a different agenda on their twitter use, those who constantly follow/Unfollow to massage their egos are the most frustrating to deal with.
    I agree totally on the use of 'tweepi' I find it invaluable on managing my account.
    Twitter @markaaronc.

  7. Thanks for the great post. I have a long way to go before I come close to maxing out, but I love your tips on who to keep in your Tweet-town and who to disregard. @AugstMcLaughlin

  8. Hey Sam, you wise ferret you, I guess I'm a little confused. Not that I'm even close to 2001 followers, but how do people have tens of thousands without getting stopped by Twitter? Maybe I'm just not catching your drift. You are a ferret, after all... and much smarter.

    Happy wiggles


  9. Good article. I face this dilemma and am about to again, and it gets annoying. How many times do you have to play their game Sam to get around the 2000 limit?