Twitter Discontinues Autofollow

Just saw this forwarded from a friend. I agree with what Biz is saying. Following 50K, 25K or even 1K followers makes it difficult or impossible to follow your stream in any meaningful way and if everyone has 50K followers, no one listens to anyone at all. If that happens, Twitter becomes a hollow network of people yelling into a room, in which everyone else is also yelling. Imagine standing on the pitcher’s mound of a sold-out baseball stadium. Then imagine trying to have a meaningful conversation with anyone sitting in the stadium’s seats. That’s the direction Twitter is heading in, though this might be a step towards trying to head that off.

Hi There,

I’m contacting you because you have a Twitter account for which
we enabled something called “autofollow.” This is not a public
feature, it’s something we did for a limited set of accounts
such that they automatically follow any account that follows
them.

We’re going to discontinue autofollow because this behavior
sends the wrong message. Namely, it is unlikely that anyone can
actually read tweets from thousands of accounts which makes
this activity disingenuous.

However, we understand that there may be exceptions such as
applications built using our API or the ability to exchange
direct messages. There are also some who think it’s simply
polite to follow back other accounts.

While we’re going to stop supporting autofollow, we’d like to
find a way to support the other goals folks are really trying
to accomplish. Please feel free to reply to this email and let
us know how we can do this better together.

Thanks,
Biz Stone, Co-founder
Twitter, Inc.

Twitter Discontinues Autofollow

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