Today In Twitterverse: Follow Limits

Yesterday afternoon, prior to leaving the house for a neighbor’s BBQ, I was routinely adding some new people to follow on Twitter, when the rug I was standing on got yanked from beneath my feet.
You see, I’m an “average” person, and given that I am, I have to follow the rules made by @ev and @biz. This rule, in particular:

We believe that following 2000 people is a reasonable limit for the number of people an average person can follow.

Twitter’s decision to impose follow limits is meant to curb abuse by self-promoters a.k.a. spammers, which is a noble pursuit. But the reality of the ruling is people like myself, who have made a habit out of finding interesting people to follow on Twitter, are bumping up against something unsavory.
It’s my job to care about the customer experience on behalf of clients. In other words, I care about how companies make people feel. Twitter is not a client of mine, so I don’t get to advise them directly. But as a customer of Twitter, I can say this particular customer experience sucks a rotten egg.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. You’re a “customer” of Twitter?
    Here’s how Wikipedia, in all its free-unless-you-choose-to-donate glory, defines customer:
    “A customer, also client, buyer or purchaser is the buyer or user of the paid products of an individual or organization, mostly called the supplier or seller. This is typically through purchasing or renting goods or services.”
    Twitter is free. You’re getting what you’re paying for. You can gripe about it all you want (and a lot of people gripe about Twitter), but they don’t owe anyone anything until people start paying for it.

  2. Damn, Danny G beat me to the punch. Besides, there must be ways to get around the rules. Why not break up your “followers” by categories? Then again, how come Ashton Kutcher got to collect 1,000,000 followers, but you’re limited to 2,000? That’s gotta hurt more than anything. 🙂

  3. Am I a “customer” of Twitter? Whoever buys them would like to think so, I can tell you that.

  4. Well, you’re getting into silly semantics now. Any buyer of Twitter does not view you as a customer. Rather, you’re a user—a potential source of revenue for advertisers to exploit at Twitter. You could become a customer of these future advertisers. But you’re not a customer of Twitter, unless you start paying them for the service.

  5. Silly semantics is using a series of anonymous pen names when you already have a perfectly good one.
    As for the word, “user” there are some who believe we can find a better term.