The Joy of Unfollowing People on Twitter

Following people correctly on Twitter is an art. If you follow too few people, Twitter is a quiet, lonely place. If you follow too many, it can be overwhelming.

I have never followed many people on Twitter; I never felt the need to. However, earlier this year I made the conscious effort to follow more people and become more active. I went from following around 200 people to around 550. I generally followed people who replied to one of my tweets or those who followed me and seemed interesting.

In hindsight, it was a silly thing to do. My Twitter feed was soon overwhelmed with tweets from people that I had no relationship with. It was also filled with tweets from other people due to the popularity of retweeting. It felt like I was viewing someone else’s feed as I did not who these people were.

So last night I decided to rectify the situation. I went through the list of all the people I followed and unfollowed anyone who I had no connection with. The number quickly dropped down to 242. This number may drop even further over the next few days.

Instantly, Twitter became better. Infinitely better.

My home feed now lists of tweets of people I want to hear from. It is the way Twitter should be.

Twitter Home Feed

Twitter has become good again!

I cannot relate to people who follow thousands of people on Twitter. Even if you use software like Hootsuite or categorise everyone into lists, it is still unmanageable.

Big Numbers

Does following thousands of people in order to get followers make you a Social Media Expert? I do not think it does.

The main reason for following thousands of people online is to gain thousands of followers in return. The problem is that the people who follow you have no interest in what you are saying.

Granted, if you play the numbers game, you will increase traffic through Twitter a little. However, you will get so much more from Twitter if you actually have conversations with people that matter rather than blasting out links to your blog and hoping people click and share.

If you are a Twitter user, I encourage you to take a step back and review how you use Twitter. Are you getting the most from the service or do you think that you have got caught up in the numbers game?

As always, thoughts, comments and biscuits are all welcome :)

Thanks for reading.
Kevin

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Comments

  1. says

    What is this “Twitter” you speak of?

    I’ve never really “gotten” Twitter; I only jumped on-board because it seemed a good idea at the time. Not being a master of the short, pithy comment their limitation on length is a handicap for me as well. I have no real interest in reading about a celebrity’s latest indiscretions nor have I ever been anything other than an introverted monk, so as with Facebook my adventures on Twitter have been more of a reflex action than a planned business move.

    Throw in my dislike of crowds, be they virtual or real, and you may understand my position and why I have 9 Followers and am Following 22. ;)

    I think it’s a good thing that you’re trimmed the tree, Kevin – keep going until you find that elusive balance point!

    • says

      It is better already. Tweets are targeted now. I am no longer overwhelmed by people who I have nothing in common with.

      I can now see the attraction of Twitter. I am now sure if I will ever be as active as other website owners, though I do understand why it is so popular.

  2. says

    I want to unfollow people on one of my Twitter accounts too, I get a lot of retweets, so I know most are interested in what I tweet, the problem is I’m following over 50,000 people, I have four times more following, but still I want to trim the fat, maybe I’ll use Tweepi to at least find those that are inactive, I’ve used that before and I recommend it.

    • says

      Are you concerned that unfollowing lots of people will greatly reduce your own following count? I can see the benefit to following so many people on Twitter if it gets so many followers, but don’t you find Twitter unusable?

  3. says

    I’m not worried about people unfollowing, anyway for now I’m only unfollowing people who don’t follow me, it’s depressing seeing so many unfollowing, but I get more following than unfollowing.

    With the high number of followers on this Twitter account, I don’t read the timeline at all, I just read replies which average about one every 30 minutes, and I have some saved searches in third-party apps – things like “@myusername thank”. After posting yesterday I had a go with unfollowers.me which is the best yet for unfollowing, there is a 100 per day limit, but I may upgrade for a month soon.

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