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The Value of Twitter Followers

February 4, 2010

As I mentioned before, I have recently gotten more into Twitter.  I downloaded the UberTwitter app onto my phone and worlds were opened for me.  Previously, my biggest problem with Twitter had been its accessibility.  On my phone, I can keep up with my Tweeps (yup) on-the-go.  I thus started tweeting more and following more people.  Personally, I find my tweets to be pretty funny and relevant (much like my blog posts), but I only have about 50 followers, so the rest of the world does not seem to agree.

In blogging and micro blogging, the mark of authority is popularity.  Thus, the more Twitter followers you have, the more worthy of being followed you are (a snowball effect).  Otherwise, you are only blogging/tweeting for yourself, which has virtue in and of itself.

Recently, I saw an article about harvesting Twitter followers.  On eBay, you can buy 5,000 followers for $20.  Yes, the going rate of a follower is about 1 cent — don’t you feel special.  I thought this exploitation was pretty sad and pathetic (though I am sure effective for those interested mainly in stats), but still a novelty.  There are companies that will create thousands of Twitter accounts and have these bots follow you if you pay them.  For those gamers out there, this is apparently a similar phenomenon to gold harvesting (?) in World of Warcraft.  I dismissed it and moved on to the next post in my Google Reader, who am I to judge?.

This morning I received a comment on my recent TwittaBling post.  I was really excited (hint, I love comments) and hurriedly accepted the comment.  I clicked on the person’s name and the link sent me to a Twitter follower harvesting website.  Suddenly this novelty was staring me in the face!

At first I was offended, are my follower rates really that abysmal? Yes.  Do I care enough that it keep me awake at night? No.

I am still reserving judgement about harvesting Twitter followers, but found it very interesting that these bots walked into my life.

Note: you will not find said comment on the TwittaBling post — I removed it because even though another comment (second hint) would make my blog look extra legit, I would never want to deceive my readers.

P.S. Follow the blog @theacumenity !

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