If you’re a Twitter user you may have seen a drop in your follower count in the past few days. If you have a lot of followers, that drop may have been significant.
The good news is that the drop in the number of your Twitter followers is, well, good news.
Twitter announced in a blog post last week that it would be removing locked accounts from follower counts. That means that if an account has been locked by Twitter it will no longer be counted as a follower of other Twitter accounts.
See, Twitter blog, Confidence in Follower Counts.
According to Twitter, the reason it’s eliminating locked accounts from follower numbers is to give more accurate information about the number of followers a user has. By doing this, Twitter hopes to increase the confidence people have in follower numbers. The company says, “Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate.”
The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey @jack announced news of the change in follower count on Twitter:
This week we’ll be removing locked Twitter accounts (locked when we detect suspicious changes in behavior) from follower counts across profiles globally. The number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down. #health https://t.co/JGmE4ofoZ2
— jack (@jack) July 11, 2018
Why Twitter Locks Accounts
You may be wondering why Twitter would lock an account. You may especially wonder this if your number of Twitter followers plummets, though Twitter says, “Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer.”
Twitter locks accounts when it detects suspicious activity. The company stated, “If we detect sudden changes in account behavior, we may lock the account and contact the owner to confirm they still have control of it.”
For example, Twitter may lock an account when that account that hasn’t tweeted for a while, then suddenly begins to tweet. Twitter will then try to verify that the tweets are from the legitimate owner of the account by sending a notice to the registered email account.
If Twitter does not hear back from the owner of that account, Twitter locks the account to prevent hacking.
Other examples of suspicious activity that may result in Twitter locking an account include an account tweeting misleading links, tweeting “a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions,” or the account being blocked by a large number of other accounts after mentioning them.
What This Means for You
If you see a drop in your number of Twitter followers, at least you now know the reason (at least this Twitter news is probably the reason…). No need to panic and completely re-evaluate your social media strategy.
Just keep tweeting useful, interesting tweets with meaningful links and remember the social media Golden Rule: Sharing is Caring. For every ten tweets sharing content, eight of those tweets should be sharing the content of others.
What This Means for Celebrities on Twitter
While you’re busy not despairing about the drop in your Twitter follower count, you can take comfort in the knowledge that many Twitter accounts had massive drops in their number of followers.
The account that had one of the biggest drops in followers? Twitter itself. The @Twitter account went from 62.85 million followers to a measly 55.1 million (as of this writing).
Other Twitter accounts that saw significant drops after this news included Katy Perry who lost 2.8 million followers, Ashton Kutcher who lost 1.1 million followers, Ellen DeGeneres, who lost 2 million followers, Oprah Winfrey who lost 1.4 million followers, YouTube which lost 2 million followers, and Taylor Swift who lost over 2 million followers.
There, don’t you feel better now?
Have you seen your Twitter follower count drop in the past few days? If so, how much did your Twitter count decrease? Are you glad Twitter is taking steps to increase the accuracy of Twitter counts?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Twitter birds on wire image (edited) courtesy of geralt via Pixabay and Creative Commons
**Twitter despair image (edited) courtesy of jmaki via Pixabay and Creative Commons
***Twitter relief image (edited) courtesy of jmaki via Pixabay and Creative Commons