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So you’re on twitter and you want to get more out of it. The easiest way is to trim the fat – unfollow all of those accounts that aren’t adding anything to your tweetstream. I just did this and feel lighter. 1,350 followers lighter, in fact.
I did two separate things: I unfollowed just about everyone who hadn’t tweeted in at least a month, and I unfollowed a large number of the people who weren’t following me back.
Why do this, you might ask?
Honestly, if you’re just a casual user of Twitter following a few hundred people, it probably doesn’t matter at all. But if you’re a slightly more active user of twitter…
Twitter puts limits on how many people you can follow without having a certain number of people following you back. Basically, you can follow up to 2,000 people no matter how many (or few) are following you back. But, once you’re following 2,000 people you may run into trouble following more. So, if you want to follow more people but can’t because of this limit, then getting rid of the dead weight – people you are following who simply don’t tweet – will help free up those spots so that you can follow more interesting accounts.
Heavy Twitter users like myself run into a different problem, especially if we use Twitter for professional reasons, and it’s one that’s harder to define. While I have no evidence of this, I think my Klout score is probably affected somewhat by the number and “quality” of Twitter accounts I’m following (and by quality I don’t mean how I define it, I mean how Klout defines it, and frankly I have no idea how they define it). So if I’m following accounts that don’t tweet, I may be hurting my Klout score. Since Klout is starting to affect the work I get, I need to pay attention to that.
Get rid of the dead weight
I used JustUnfollow.com. There is a free version, but it limits you to only 25 unfollows a day. Or, you can double your limit to 50 by tweeting about the site (instructions will appear once you hit the limit). If you don’t have a lot of cleaning up to do – or you don’t mind doing a little each day – the free version is great. [Update: Thanks to Liz for clarifying in the comments that once you send that one tweet, your limit is permanently increased to 50/day – you don’t have to keep sending out the tweet each day.]
However, I had a lot of cleaning to do, so I upgraded to the premium version, which is only $9.99 for a year of no unfollow limits.
After authorizing Just Unfollow to access my twitter account, I clicked on their newest feature, Show Inactive Following. I was quickly able to see who hadn’t tweeted in a month or more. With a couple of exceptions, I got rid of them all.
Get rid of non-followers
This is a more difficult one for me to justify, because I’m following about one-quarter of the people who follow me. But using Just Unfollow I went through the thousand or so people I was following who weren’t following me, and got rid of about two-thirds of them.
If I didn’t recognize them at all – the twitter handle was unfamiliar, the picture didn’t ring a bell – I got rid of them. At one time we were probably following each other, so I was really just finishing what they had started.
I kept the people I instantly recognized. These are people whose tweets interest me, no matter whether they follow me or not. I don’t care if they’re not following me back, they make twitter interesting.
I kept all of the celebs. I really don’t expect Charlie Sheen to follow me back, but I still get a kick out of watching his crazyboat sail by in my twitter stream.
And now I’m done tinkering for a while.
A note about Twitoria
I tried out about a dozen services before settling on Just Unfollow. I ultimately picked it based on its ease of use, the services it offered, and price. I wasn’t planning on reviewing the ones I didn’t choose. But one of them was so bad, I feel like I need to warn you away from it. Twitoria gave me a list of people it said had NEVER tweeted.
It was page after page filled mostly with accounts I’ve tweeted with personally, or whose tweets I’ve seen many times. Now, I can’t tell you for 100% certain that Just Unfollow didn’t make any mistakes, but I didn’t notice any – every person they said hadn’t tweeted in a month or more looked accurate to me. Maybe Twitoria is simply suffering from a temporary glitch, but I would stay away.
And what about Friend or Follow?
A lot of people I know use Friend or Follow. In fact, I think it’s probably the best known of all of these sites and services. I even signed up for the premium service, thinking it was worth trying out for $9.99. After signing up however, I realized it was $9.99 per MONTH, not per year. That’s ridiculous. Luckily there’s a seven-day trial period, so I was able to immediately cancel without being charged for the first month.
Besides the price though, I found it to be very buggy.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.