The Great Twitter Cull Of 2018

The Great Twitter Cull Of 2018

The Great Twitter Cull Of 2018

The Great Twitter Cull Of 2018: Twitter bit the bullet earlier this month when it announced that it was to push the delete button on “tens of millions” of inactive Twitter accounts. Some would say not before time, however, the announcement sent shockwaves through social media managers everywhere.

Following the process, Twitter said that all accounts had seen a small drop in numbers, with the average user losing around four followers. That doesn’t seem so bad, but when you consider the average Twitter account has just 700 followers, that could mean a pretty heavy hit for accounts with tens of millions.

Which profiles lost the most?

The real fun starts when we look at which profiles lost the most followers. Data from Socialbakers shows how the top 500 accounts have been affected. So, which Twitter celebrities have been claiming they are more popular than they actually are? Well, not that many, as it happens.

Most of the major accounts have seen a pretty sizable shift, but they haven’t been wiped out. Aside from Twitter itself, 50 Cent took the biggest hit with a fall of 6.3%, the equivalent of some 651,000 users. But the US rapper needn’t worry about his popularity too much, because he still has 9.6 million followers to fall back on.

Perhaps more surprising is Justin Bieber, one of Twitter’s more popular accounts, who lost just 2.59% of his following. Which means there are still close to 104 million “real” people following the Bieb – a somewhat worrying statistic in itself (just kidding – we’re true Beliebers here at YOM).

So which celebrities have been pulling the wool over our eyes regarding their popularity? Well poor old ’80s heartthrob Steve Guttenberg, famous for his roles in Police Academy and 3 Men and a Baby, has lost a staggering 58,000 users, 72% of his following. That leaves Steve with a paltry 23,115 real fans. Commandant Lassard would not be amused.

Good news for the rest of us

While Steve Guttenberg may be feeling a little unloved at the moment, the cull is actually good news for the rest of us. These accounts were inactive anyway, so they weren’t playing any significant part in the community, aside from massaging the egos of a few celebrities.

The cull also helps ensure that Twitter metrics are accurate and represent a true picture of a person’s popularity. This is important as social media platforms become critical parts of the marketing landscape. Brands need to know that audience engagement is real if they are to have confidence in the platforms going forward.

From Twitter’s point of view, this action was necessary. Everyone knows that social media followers can be purchased relatively cheaply. This is the first time a major social media platform has addressed the problem directly. Twitter should be congratulated for its direct approach in dealing with the issue.