Your Twitter follower count is about to drop as part of a clean-up operation
Over the coming week, you may well notice that you lose a number of Twitter followers. Don't worry, it's (probably) not the result of something you said -- Twitter is having a spring clean and is cutting locked accounts from follower numbers.
The company says that the change is being introduced so that everyone's follower counts are "meaningful and accurate" and that they are something people can have confidence in. So just how many followers are you likely to lose?
- Twitter is suspending more suspicious accounts than ever -- over 70 million in the last two months
- Twitter tries to fight spam by forcing new users to verify their email or phone number
- Judge: President Trump blocking people on Twitter is unconstitutional
It's difficult to say what the drop will be for everyone, but Twitter thinks that the impact for most people will be minimal. But while users may well notice that their followers have decreased, the question on many people's lips is likely to be "why?".
Announcing the changes to follower counts, Twitter says:
Over the years, we've locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior. In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in. This week, we'll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.
The company goes on to explain the impact of the new policy:
Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.
What all of this means in practice is that while follower numbers may drop, it is only meaningless accounts that are being discounted -- those that remain should be genuine accounts that you stand chance of actually interacting with.