// what do you think?


Treating your best users like your worst. [Twitter]


Twitter has imposed a new follow limit on it’s users. You only get to follow 2,000 people. Most of you may be thinking, “Seriously? Who wants to follow 2,000 people anyway?” How realistic is it follow 2,000 people? That’s just too much noise right?

Not as noisy as you might think

As of today I currently follow 1,059 people? How is that possible? Obviously I don’t directly engage with every comment my Twitter friends make. I don’t have to. Not every tweet is meant to be engaged with (I would argue most of them aren’t).

And as more brands start using Twitter to engage with their customers many of them are going to need to be able to follow everyone that follows them, even if that number exceeds 2,000.

I use tools


TweetDeck let’s me track Tweets by groups. All Tweets are on the far right. All my Boise friends are in the next column and replies (tweets containing @tacanderson) are in the next column. So really following a whole grip of people isn’t as hard as one might think.

The algorithm did it

So while I don’t have a problem with Twitter limiting the amount of people you follow I have a problem with the way it was implemented. Steve O’Hear has a post about Twitter using an algorithm to limit the number of followers.

The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be much algo behind their rithm. Spammers follow a lot of people for the exposure but don’t get many (if any) people following them back. It doens’t seem to me like it would be very hard to build into this “algorithm” a follow to following ratio.

The result is that Twitter ends up treating their most valuable users, their hubs, (see previous post on scale-free networks) exactly like they treat their worst users, the spammers.

It seems like there’s a marketing lesson in there somewhere ;)

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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