Large Accounts Running Against Twitter’s Follow Limit

While Twitter had their 1,000 followers per day limit for quite awhile, it has only been recently that they’ve started to enforced that limit on everyone. Before, the limit was placed on new accounts and older accounts were able to follow more than 1,000 per day.

Now you may be thinking that no one needs to follow more than 1,000 people per day. However, for the large Twitter users who have a policy of following people who follow them, the new limit is making it impossible for them to do so.

For example, many of the Net’s biggest Twitter user, like Barack Obama and Whole Foods, will follow you if you follow them. And many small Twitter users do the same thing. Accounts getting less than 1,000 followers per day wouldn’t run into any problems. However, Obama gets over 10,000 per day following him. Before Twitter imposed their limit on everyone, Obama was able to follow everyone back. Now, he can only follow the first 1,000. Everyone above the limit will be disappointed that the President of the United State didn’t follow them back. I have ran into this problem myself recently. There has been days when more than 1,000 people have followed me but I couldn’t follow all of them back because of the limit.

But isn’t Twitter about social networking? Why limit who I network with?

Twitter’s response to their following limits is to say they’re not a social network and not for the sake of creating mutual connections.

Twitter may facilitate social networking, but we’re not specifically a social networking website. In fact, the way Twitter works is quite different from social networks: when you accept friend requests on social networks, it usually means you appear in that person’s network and they appear in yours.

Following on Twitter is quite different, because instead of indicating a mutual relationship, following is a one way action that means you want to receive information, in the form of Twitter updates, from a person or entity. Twitter allows people to opt in to (our out of) receiving a person’s updates without requiring mutual following.

If you have a public account, I can follow you but you don’t have to follow me. Unlike most social networks, you follow me on Twitter NOT for the sake of a mutual connection, but because you want to get my updates, regardless of whether or not I get yours. If I want to read your updates too, I can– and unlike social networks, if you change your mind and un-follow me, it doesn’t stop me from continuing to follow you.

Twitter put the 1,000 per day limit to prevent spam by stopping people from aggressively following others. However, is following people who follow you being aggressive or being courteous? While most Twitter users don’t get more than 1,000 per day following them, those that do are finding it very frustrating to not being able to follow everyone who follow them. If Twitter allows an unlimited number of people to follow you, they should allow you to follow all of them back. The 1,000 per day limit should apply to new followers only.