I keep half an eye on vanity measures (likes and follows etc) but don’t pay them much attention.
My Klout score of 58 (today) is a perfectly respectable average grade, but slightly below the percentage most of my students aspire to achieve. Yet it doesn’t mean much.
One number I have been watching is the number of my Twitter followers as it crept slowly up to the 5,000 mark – before promptly falling back below this level, then creeping up once again.
For the most part, people add others on social media, but don’t remove anyone since it’s easier to ignore someone if you’ve no interest in what they have to say, and no desire to invest in a relationship.
Yet clearly some people do unfollow. Who are they, and why?
Twitter alerts you to new followers (via email alerts), but you get no such warning of people who unfollow you. To do this, you need to use another tool.
I’ve installed Unfollowers and so have been receiving alerts when people unfollow me. I can see who they are, and also check on people I follow who don’t follow me back (and vice versa). So it’s a useful exercise in investigating reciprocity in online relationships.
I’ve not learnt much though. Some unfollowers are because their accounts have been suspended. They’re no loss to me. Others (so far) have been people I didn’t even know were following me.
Some, I’m told, will follow as many accounts as possible in the hope of gaining a proportion of follow-backs before discreetly unfollowing these and then presumably moving on to dupe some new targets. Not cool – but it happens.
Is there an alternative to unfollowing? Twitter now offers the chance to mute someone we’re following so their updates won’t appear in our feeds.
Muting is invisible to others, and we can simply reverse it if we change our mind (or the person we’ve muted changes their communication behaviour).