How could losing 9 million users be good for a platform that needs new users to thrive?
Believe me, it’s possible.
This morning, Twitter said that the “monthly user base fell to 326 million from 335 million the prior quarter,” according to reports.
The drop was due to a clean-up effort from the social media platform to remove spam and bot accounts last quarter.
Why Are They Removing Accounts?
Simply put - to make Twitter a better place.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, said “This is an extremely important initiative to us, not only for the experience of Twitter, but we believe the long-term growth of the platform.”
The focus, not only on growth, but healthy growth is an important distinction. Many accounts use bots, spam accounts, and other fake accounts to boost and pad their following and create the appearance that they have tons of “eyes” on their tweets.
However, that type of mindset fosters a breeding ground of non-real users and bots that can become a major pain point for real, active tweeters in the community.
Considering the political and social controversy surrounding many bot accounts, this effort is also done in an effort to make Twitter a safer, less menacing place.
Amidst the culling of spam and bot accounts, Twitter actually posted a better Q3 than anticipated - even while the user number has been reduced.
Users seem to be responding nicely to the cleanup efforts and the initiative to remove fake accounts tied to spam, hate-speech, and other non-user focused activities.
What Does It Mean For You?
Hopefully a better Twitterverse experience.
With less bot, spam, and predator accounts, your marketing and personal engagements should be more human-to-human.
I mean, no one likes being the target of a spam account - especially when you have 10 or 20 of them mentioning you a day.
For your following, you may see a decrease in accounts following you. It’s safe to say that a handful are likely bots, but don’t let this vanity metric get you down. That that drop in followers means that the remaining accounts are more likely to be the quality you’re looking for; real people who will actually engage and add to the conversation.
Twitter’s focus on the “health” of the platform is a powerful change as it has been overrun with fake accounts used to pad followings and often share propaganda.
Jack Dorsey has stated that they “do see health [of the platform] as a growth vector over the long term…”
That should be reassuring to long-term Twitter users, as they can hopefully expect more cleanups coming down from the social media giant.
So, What Do You Do Now?
Nothing! Continue using Twitter like the social media pro you are :) Keep an eye on your followers for metric tracking purposes, but if you’re engaging in real conversations you shouldn’t be affected by this update too much.