What Do Your Twitter Stats Really Mean?

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To anyone on Twitter, raise your hand if you don’t pay attention to your number of followers. No matter how not vain you claim to be, your follower number is something that tugs oh-so-gently at your consciousness.

To those using Twitter for a while, it becomes obvious that you can quickly increase your followers in one of two ways:

1) Become incredibly famous.

2) Follow as many other people as you can, banking on people following you in return.

Since most people are not incredibly famous, most peeps seeking to build up their followers choose option #2: they follow a bunch of people they never intend to pay any attention to. A lot of people will reciprocate the follow, even though they never intend to pay any attention to you in return. Building-up the number of followers in this way works for the most part.

However, this potentially leaves you in the position of following more people than follow you. When grossly out of proportion, the follower to followee ratio speaks poorly of a Tweep, since it tends to indicate intention of using Twitter as principally a broadcast medium. In other words, if someone follows way more people than are following them, that person may be perceived by some as a Twitter parasite.

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