My Experiment With Unfollowing on Twitter

I don’t give my Twitter account the attention is deserves, but at the beginning of October I embarked on an experiment with my Twitter account. I used Twit Cleaner (it’s free) to go through the list of accounts I was following on Twitter.

Before I get into how my experiment turned out, here is a breakdown of why I liked this particular tool.

  • It breaks accounts down into categories:
    • Dodgy – spam phrases, @ spamming, duplicate links, duplicate tweets, app spam, advertising networks etc
    • Absent – No updates in a month, fewer than 10 tweets, deleted & suspended accounts.
    • Repetitive – High numbers of duplicate tweets or links
    • Flooding – So high volume you can’t see anyone else
    • Non-Responsive – No interaction, those that follow back < 10%, streams that are all feeds (facebook, twitterfeed etc)
    • Little New Content – Retweeting lots or just posting quotes
    • Not Very Interesting – People who talk about themselves a lot, or aren’t followed back very much
  • YOU choose who you want to unfollow from the report it generates. It does not automatically unfollow accounts. This is important because there are most likely people you want to continue following for one reason or another that may be lumped into one of these categories. (Celebrities, family members, “real life” friends, etc.)
  • It does not unfollow everyone at one time – is spaces the unfollows out over several hours – or days depending on how many accounts you’ve chosen to unfollow. This is important because Twitter may suspend your account if you do an excessive amount of anything in a short amount of time.
  • It does not use your Twitter password to access your account – it uses OAuth to access your account.
  • You can go choose a few (or a lot) of accounts to unfollow and go back to the report later and choose more. You don’t have to do it all at one sitting.
Now, what were the results of my experiment? Well, they were a little surprising to me. I truly expected a mass exodus of followers, but I was surprised.
Beginning numbers:
  • Following: 1,632
  • Followers: 2,030
On day 6 after a week of weeding through the various accounts on the list and choosing literally hundreds to unfollow, here were my final numbers.
  • Following: 923
  • Followers: 2,009
That’s right, I only lost 21 followers in that time.
Have you done a similar unfollow on your Twitter account? What were your results?

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