When talking with new clients about setting up a Twitter account, one of the initial questions they ask me is, “How many people should I follow? 100? 1000? 5000?” It would seem like ‘more is better’, but this time it really only applies to Followers. Also Twitter imposes an arbitrary limit on the number of accounts you can follow…and that limit is you can Follow 2000 other Twitter users on each account. When I get this question, I tend to share with them my own experience ‘pushing Twitter’s limits’. ;)
At the time, I had about 1400 Followers when I hit my 2000 limit and found I couldn’t Follow any more Twitter users. I did some online research and found a few articles that said, to get over Twitter’s limit, I’d need an approximate 80%-90% Following:Follower Ratio (this is not an exact ratio because no one knows… Twitter won’t tell anyone what their rule for this actually is). So I did the math and it looked like I needed about 1600-1800-ish FollowERS to be able to be FollowING more people. Once achieved, then I’d be able to follow new Twitterers again.
The article, and info on Twitter Support, seemed to say that all you had to do was get over the 2000 Follower mark and the ratio limits would be lifted from that point forward. After all, I had seen accounts following 10,000 or more users, SO I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, spending the next three full work days getting my next 600 Followers. This required a great amount of pleading, begging, messaging, UNfollowing people who weren’t following me back (btw, my online tool of choice was http://www.Tweepi.com.), then finding users willing to follow me once I followed them. All a very convoluted and frustrating process, even with supposed accounts to help you find people willing to do this. Many still did not return my follow which meant I had to then UNfollow them and try to find more people to take a chance on. Over and over, round and round, unfollow 100, follow 100, get 10 follow-backs, unfollow 90, follow 90, get 5 follow-backs…blah blah blah…UGH!!
FINALLY! After three days of this I was able to Follow my 2002nd person. Woohoo!! I was home free, off and running, nobody could hold me back now!! hahahahaaaa! But then… as I went back to FollowBack all the people whom I was unable to before, I AGAIN ran into Twitter’s ratio limit at about my 2150th FollowBack. W…T…H?? I went BACK to researching and re-read Twitter’s support page (https://support.twitter.com/articles/66885-i-can-t-follow-people-follow-limits). The language is a little ambiguous, and could be read a couple different ways…either the ratio applies at the 2000 Followers mark or forever past the 2000 mark. NOW I see that the 80-ish% ratio continues to be in effect forever even after 2000 Following. :(
Now, at least I can FollowBack those who Follow me, but I still cannot Follow all the accounts I find interesting or helpful. I’m having to rethink how I’ll use Twitter moving forward. Do I need to create a couple more accounts? I can now see why there are so many multiple and spam accounts out there. I think Twitter may actually be causing their own worst problems with their arbitrary rules. Not sure.
How about you? Have you had or heard of any similar experiences? Agree? Disagree? Any thoughts? Workarounds? Strategies you’d care to share? I look forward to discussing them in the comment section below.
Follow me on Twitter and I will Follow You Back!