Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Follower management on Twitter

(Updated 8/23/14 11:17 PM EDT)
(Updated 7/13/14 6:15 PM EDT)

Why you need to do it.

In order to reduce spammy "following", Twitter has a rule that applies to all accounts which follow more than 2000 people:

Your "following" number must be no more than 10% higher than your "followers" number.

Example A: following 2001; followers 1700 ==> You will NOT be allowed to follow anyone new.
Example B: following 2001; followers 1897 ==> You are ok.
Example C: following 8700; followers 8000 ==> You are ok.

Tip [if you're unable to follow more people at this time]: my suggestion is to start unfollowing some of the people who aren't following you, and unfollowing the people who don't tweet any more, until your following number is no longer more than 10% higher than your followers number.

Tip [if you want to avoid this problem in the future]: make sure to maintain your "following" number at less than, or at least not much more than, your "followers" number, so you don't wind up having to spend a lot of time some day unfollowing people.

Tip: If there are unfollowers who you would like to follow anyway, such as celebrities, news organizations, etc., unfollow them and add them to a list so you can get their stuff without technically following them. That way they won't be skewing your following/followers ratio.

Follower management tool: the ideal

The ideal follower management tool would enable you to:

-quickly see at a glance all accounts which you are following but are not following you back, and any lists of yours on which they appear;
-check off which accounts should be unfollowed and/or removed from lists; and
-whitelist and hide those which you are willing to continue to follow even if they do not follow you back.

If you know of any such tool, please let me know. I haven't found it yet.

Follower management tools which do exist

The follower management tool I used to use was, but that changed into something else.

The follower management tool I've been using for the last couple of months is

What's good about it is

-it loads quickly
-it has good, useful filters
-it gives you the ability to "whitelist" accounts you are going to follow even if they don't meet your normal criteria
-you can get a list of accounts you've muted or blocked

A word of advice: DON'T use any of's automated functions; they could turn you into a spammer.

Other follower management tools I haven't checked out lately:

-the "Cleanup" Tool offered by; (h/t @klbkultur);; (h/t @rM1L);
-Tweepi (h/t @Penny_Wyse); (h/t MariKurisato);

[If you know of others which work well, or if any of my information has become outdated, or if you have any additional information on this evolving subject, please let me know in the Comments section, and I'll check it out. Thanks.]

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  1. Thanks for this Ray. I have learned most of what I know about Twitter from reading you.


  2. I would recommend for follower management. It has numerous features that most of the other mentioned tools lack.

    I also tried Tweepi recently but stayed with refollow as my web app of choice.

    As a side note: For tracking unfollows I use rssfriends and on a regular basis.

    Thomas (@klbkultur)

  3. I've added them. seems to just work w 200 followers at a time, which is pretty inconvenient. What am I supposed to do, load it 40+ times?

  4. I can't even figure out how to move on to the next 200.

  5. Ray,

    the task of loading all followers and followings can be accomplished very easily. Just click on "Load all" on the right hand side (under "Show Me") and will load them. If you wonder why the count may differ: It's because protected accounts doesn't show up.

    I also like the many filters for fine-tuning and narrowing down the results. You can also compare your followings and followers with others by simply using the "Users who are following" and "Users who are followed by" menu options. ...

    Pagination isn't an issue for me here because you can navigate through pages using the page menu at the bottom.

    I have to admit that once you're familiar with all the options and filters you wan't miss it in your toolbox.

    Thomas (@klbkultur)

  6. i just tried, i think it's very good, will see in 15 min when i am going to check again.
    Thank you for this Ray.

  7. lets you white list and you can unfollow 100 non-followers per day.

  8. Thanks.. I have really perplexed by this. I am following 2,001 people and have 1,049 followers

    I keep getting people to follow me but they UNFOLLOW when I cannot follow them back - FRUSTRATING

    I have weeded out my FOLLOWS by hand - simply going through the list one-by-one and don't have many more than I can delete without losing more than I gain.. or simply trading a few unfollows for a few new followers.

    Would the LISTS function be helpful with this at all - advising folks that that I am UNFOLLOWING them but then LISTING them?

    Thanks (feeder for blog)

  9. No @YaJagoff the "lists" won't help you. Most people won't follow you if you don't follow back.

    You should start unfollowing a lot of the people who don't follow you back, just as I describe in my blog post.

  10. @YaJagoff I've read and reread your comment and I really don't understand what you're talking about.

    You can easily get a clear reading of those whom you are following who are not following you back.

    Start dumping them!!!!

    There's no reason in the world for you to be going through your list one by one!!!

  11. Go to or and get a list of the nonreciprocators, and unfollow most of them.

  12. I whitelisted a foloower using justunfollow, after I un-whitelisted him I couldn't find him again to unfollow. Any help in how I could find him ??

  13. Sorry Stanley, I have been using justunfollow lately. I've just been using refollow.


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