Photo by: Johan J. Ingles
Recently, I had a discussion with a friend about what seems to be a loss in momentum of acquiring legitimate new followers on Twitter. The email also brought up the current issue of the saturation of Facebook pages. I felt the information was too interesting to keep to ourselves so I decided to publish it. Read on…
I was scratching my head yesterday thinking about what seems to be a slow down of new followers on Twitter. While I’m still a bit puzzled I have a few theories as to why. At first I thought it had something to do with the hordes of people joining. It seems they would be taking up all the new potential follows. However, you would also think those new people are new potential followers as well. So figure that. Anyway, my thought is that’s it’s due to a combination of things. Don’t quote me on any of these as they are just speculations:
1. Twitter’s tighter control over 3rd party software. 3rd party following/unfollowing software used to be more free to do whatever people wanted. It’s not that open anymore. Twitter has imposed a number of rules as to what this software can and cannot do. While searching for followers by keywords can provide some nice contacts, it’s all bulk, so in the end you have to thin out the crowd and separate the weeds from the good stuff. Seems like many people are starting to realize that. However, this 3rd party following software issue I think is the least of the causes of the loss in momentum.
2. Not new anymore. Remember when Facebook first launched “pages” – I opened http://facebook.com/sixstringsensei and http://facebook.com/rightisbackside around that time. Not only was I able to get about 200+ “likes” (at the time “fans”) on one page, and 150+ on the other within a week, but they also allowed me to set a custom URL for each of them. Nowadays, with everybody and their mother having “pages” you’re lucky if you can get 100 likes unless you’re famous or are pumping money into them. I created a page for the bike accessory company I do work for and another for the their high-end bike line. After months they only have between 20-60 likes. This is a company that is fairly known. Anyway, I went on a tangent there. Point is, people are not gobbling up new followers on Twitter as they were in the beginning just like Facebook pages are not producing as many “likes” as when they first started. Now, there are the new guys who follow just for the sake of follow backs and then you have the veterans like us who are a little more cautious as to who you follow. Which leads me to…
If you are following everyone, you are following no one.
3. Follower saturation. This has to do with following people just the sake of follow backs. This is very similar to what was happening with Myspace when the idea first started. People were following anybody and everybody just to get more “friends.” This has been happening on Twitter the whole time I’ve been there. I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to following certain people only because they follow me back. While, I do read their tweets sometimes, I keep a private list (my little black book if you may) of people who I really care about and check their tweets on a daily basis. When you are following so many people at once it’s almost impossible to keep up with everyone. In cases like that Twitter loses a lot of it’s effectiveness and the quality of your followers also decreases. I mean, how good is a follower if he or she doesn’t read your tweets? Right? I think people are starting to realize this and are slowing down the pace at which they click the follow button. You could say Twitter is maturing. I guess it can be summarized like this: “If you are following everyone, you are following no one.”
4. Paying for followers. Another thing I noticed is that many new Twitter users are showing up with a ridiculous number of followers when all they have is a few tweets. I haven’t looked too much into this, but I guess they are paying to get those followers. While it’s fine that Twitter make some money, the down side is that it dilutes good content. It also frustrates the people that actually post good content since there are others posting junk that can simply pay their way in.
As a guy, I had to employ the follow to get follow backs deal at first in order to grow. However, I kept that under control and didn’t overdo it. As a girl with talent, you have that edge when it comes to gathering followers that don’t mind if you don’t follow them back. It is what is is. Pros and cons of being either male or female. But, I don’t regret the time spent on Twitter. I have met amazing people and have made genuine friends. I have been able acquire more knowledge in all my varied interests and have also been able to help others.