Twitter and Limits

Twitter has its limitations too, it would appear. But nothing to worry about, not just yet. It could be a blessing in disguise. Or could it be a well thought-out plan for us?

Recently, I noticed that i could no longer ‘follow’ new people; that my account has reached its peak. Apparently, Twitter uses some sort of formula to limit the number of people you can follow. This formula, i would guess, seems to include variables such as number of followers, number you already follow, and perhaps more? Who knows! Maybe there is a fine print to be read somewhere?

Initially, i interpreted this as a ‘limitation’ and had to find a way out of it, if possible. I was forced to take the ‘unfollow’ route. However, this proved limited as i could only add a few more for every couple unfollowed (few and couple, as i do not know what the formula is). Incidentally, new followers appeared, shifting the balance of the formula in my favor. But still problems. This is not enough. If they unfollow me at some stage, i am back to square zero. Not a sustainable plan.

So what to do, really? I decided to visit my list of 2000 followers. In 15 minutes my list was down by 105. Wow! Yes, there was a time when i followed anyone and anything that appeared remotely interesting. What i noticed as well is that some of the handles i followed were no longer functional – choice, death, moved to another handle, etc. This is an important reason for periodically cleaning up your Twitter.

As i reflected on this, i thought about the value of the limitation enforced by Twitter. Is it there to help us better manage our network? Certainly! Of course the less people you follow, the greater the chance of seeing what your interesting follows are sharing. It is much easier to capture the good stuff appearing on your timeline, isn’t it. This limitation has also forced me(us?) to think about the choices we make, who to follow. While the next person to follow is ‘one click away’, easy to do, we may think much more about this choice.

So overall, I am in agreement with the limitation in so far as it allows me to better manage my Twitter network. Can you think of any possible real limitation?


About lenandlar

Lenandlar Singh is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Guyana.
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