I wonder what the future of Twitter is.
I’m a long-term Twitter user, along with other Social Media, and at an individual level it’s fun to use, and informative. For business it can be a great media for getting your message across and interacting with existing and potential customers. And we have all seen how it can be used by “we the people” to organize and keep connected.
And I understand that it’s a numbers game; when my number of followers went over 1,000 I was really pleased, and generally I will follow back people who follow me. But I am noticing more and more of the sort of thing that appeared in my Twitter account yesterday.
I was followed by an account which had the following stats:
Now let’s just stop and think about those stats. This “person” has tweeted less than 100 times – fair enough, we all have to start somewhere, but already they are following five hundred people, and have nearly 600 followers, how is that possible?
A quick look at the feed shows how, every day there is a report from an automated follow back service “Todays stats: 505 followers, no unfollowers, and following 2002 people”. As I suspected, this is an automated account, being followed by people who also have automated accounts. No human intervention, just a system optimized to get the maximum number of followers.
And at least this account seemed to be for a real person or organization; the profile referred to an actual name and a website that looked like it was a real one (I didn’t follow the link). Most of the follows I get of this sort tell me how many thousands of followers I can get, by simply clicking onto this website. The only purpose of these twitter accounts is to get twitter accounts, just numbers and nothing more.
And this raises a bizarre thing, if I spent less time looking at my Twitter account and just bought a piece of software, I could probably double the number of followers I have, and if numbers are all that matter, what is wrong with that? Of course, most of these followers would be spam bots, automated accounts and generally not people who will read my tweets, and it is this that I see as the problem.
Twitter is full of accounts that don’t represent a voice, just a collection of automated processes that generate numbers and noise. The more obvious spammy ones get suspended after they have spammed all over the tweetaverse, but others are set up by actual people who fall for the numbers game, without realizing that content is more important than numbers alone.
Size is important, but more important is what you do.