After the massive purge that involves the discounting of locked accounts – accounts suspected to be run by bots and spammers – from users’ follower numbers, it’s being reported that the 100 most popular Twitter users have lost about 2 percent of their followers from their counts on average, according to social media data analytics firm Keyhole. These locked accounts were already being excluded from any reports on daily and monthly active users on the platform, but this policy change is now affecting the follower counts of users as well. Also Read - Biggest Bitcoin scam: Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and other major Twitter accounts hackedAlso Read - Twitter brings voice tweets to iOS as an attempt to 'add a more human touch'
While all users are likely to have lost at least some followers, the reduction in follower counts can affect major Twitter influencers and celebrities heavily. Follower counts are usually a matter of pride and also tend to set the business value of a particular influencer. Also Read - Your tweets will disappear after 24 hours just like Snapchat stories
A lot of popular users earn a living off Twitter, by using their reach to communicate with people for a particular agenda, such as advertising a product or service. For other users, the drop in numbers might simply be disappointing.
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The reduction in follower count is just a new policy decision taken, and the locked accounts that are affected have already been flagged as suspicious. These accounts remain visible, but with reduced functionality. The accounts have been locked because of suspicion that the accounts are being run by bots or spammers, even if they might have been set up by actual people. The biggest drop to a single account was the official Twitter handle, which lost over 12 percent of its followers. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also tweeted that he had lost about 200,000 followers himself.
Twitter’s latest move comes as the platform tries to increase its credibility and safety as a micro-blogging service. By taking steps towards reducing the credibility and usability of these locked accounts, Twitter is working towards improving the quality of conversations taking place on the platform. While key users won’t be happy to see their hard-earned follower numbers dropping, it’s only logical that insincere and bogus accounts be removed once discovered to be so.