Unfollowing Inactive Twitter Accounts the Easy Way with Manage Flitter

Recently a few of my Twitter friends have hit the 2000 Twitter limit and have been asking for advice on how to continue to grow their Twitter following when they’re not allowed to follow anyone new. I use the free version of Manage Flitter because it is so simple to use and unfollows 100 people very quickly. I know many people who love Social Bro for the same tools, but I just can’t get into it as I find it’s not as intuitive as Manage Flitter.

The Twitter 2000 Limit

Usually what happens is you go on a following binge, trying to grow your follow backs and somewhere around 2001 following, Twitter stops you. Most people don’t even know about this 2000 limit, but it’s put in place to prevent spammers from getting a very large following very quickly, and churners from improving their ratios unethically. Personally, I think it could be a lot lower if that’s the main purpose, but I don’t work for Twitter (Hey Twitter, call me…maybe). Here’s what Twitter says about it:

The rules about aggressive following and follow churn still apply. In addition, every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.

Why You Need To Unfollow

In case it’s not already obvious, if you hit the 2000 following limit and you only have 543 followers, then you need to unfollow large numbers of people in order to follow new ones. You need to keep following new people to find new content and to grow your following. The best strategy, or at least the one I subscribe to, is to unfollow accounts that are not following you back, that are inactive.

If they are inactive, but following you back, then unfollowing them doesn’t really help you in this case, but you might as well unfollow them too if you want. My definition of inactive changes depending on the account I’m cleaning, but generally speaking, I will unfollow any accounts that have not tweeted in the last two months.

Using Manage Flitter

using manage flitter to clean your twitter accountLog in to ManageFlitter with your Twitter account and you’ll come to this dashboard. The default setting is showing you who is not following you back, from the most recent account you followed, to the oldest account you followed. Most of the choices you have can be changed under the free account, so go ahead and play around with it. Here’s the process I use to unfollow inactive accounts.

First choose how to order those accounts that are not following you back. I choose “activity” and make sure the arrow is pointing up–that means from oldest to most recent accounts you’ve followed. It’s reasonable to assume that it might take people a while to follow you back, so I always start with the accounts I’ve been following the longest. This should give me the people who are not following me back AND are inactive.
unfollow twitter users

Now, because I’ve been doing this on my account regularly, I didn’t have very many inactive, non-following accounts today, just four. Take a look at this record for a local business I obviously didn’t check out well enough before following them recently.

unfollow twitter users

On the far right you can see they have not tweeted since March 12, 2011. The chances of them following me back now are pretty slim. So while I’d love to follow them and find out more about the products they have in store, just five minutes from my house, obviously they’re no longer using Twitter and it would be a good bet to unfollow them. So I Xed the check box on this account and the others I needed to unfollow. There is a fast select option as well, but you might be more comfortable at least eyeballing each account that you’re about to unfollow.

unfollow multiple twitter users

Once you’ve selected all of the accounts on the page that you wish to unfollow, you simply click on the button in the right column. Notice it will tell you how many accounts you’ve selected to unfollow.

Voila. You’ve just unfollowed up to 100 people with the click of a few buttons. There are some neat features in the paid upgrade, which I am seriously considering  purchasing, like the ability to create a whitelist of accounts you would never want to accidentally unfollow and additional filtering capabilities. There are some other non-filtering features there too:

  • Power Post, which tells you the best time of day to tweet and lets you schedule tweets;
  • Google+ integration allows you to have your G+ updates auto-posted on Twitter. You know I’m not a fan of auto-linking accounts, so I won’t go on about this one 🙂 ;
  • Search for users who are interested in certain topic areas and follow them easily;

I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what Manage Flitter can do. I hope you’ll find this tutorial helpful when you reach that 2000 following limit yourself, or if you’re just in need of cleaning things up a bit.

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