This isn’t my usual kind of post but it is something I really care about so I thought I’d just say a few little things about it. Apologies to the beauty and fashion junkies – I have lots of other posts for you just below and more coming later.
About 6 months ago it came to my attention that not only it is possible to buy large volumes of twitter followers but that people actually do it!! I won’t say how and where and why I know in detail – but basically what happened was that someone I know and used to follow suddenly vastly multiplied their twitter followers over night! A quick look at these so-called followers revealed a massive bunch of mute, solitary eggs – ie. twitter profiles with no profile picture that never tweet and have no followers.
Now it doesn’t bother me personally because it doesn’t really matter how many followers other people have, and quite frankly if you have cash to spend on bolstering your twitter profile then who am I to object? It is none of my business. And actually we all have a few fake followers I think, and lots of inactive ones – in the world of spam and fads, it is fairly difficult to avoid.
But when I look at the wider issue, it really does bother me. First of all, I can only assume that people buy twitter followers to appear more influential than they actually are. Again, so what? Well it is quite a big what.
Many PRs and brands use twitter following numbers to help them decide which bloggers to work with – in terms of sharing the latest news on product launches, providing samples for review and actual paid collaborations between blogger and brand.
We all have differing levels of influence in a differing range of topics, and as bloggers, we have worked mighty hard to achieve that. When a brand chooses to work with me, I feel great because it means they appreciate the work I have done. Also it means that I progress as the career blogger I have chosen to be.
When someone buys followers, it is rather like fraud. It is about tricking brands and PR companies into paying more than they should, whether it is actual fees, or free treats, or VIP invitations. I genuinely feel terrible for the people/PRs/brands/genuine followers/colleagues that are cheated, duped and defrauded, because quite frankly, it’s a con.
So why am I talking about this again? It because over the weekend I picked up on another blogger discussing this very same issue on twitter. I won’t say who, just in case they wouldn’t like to be named, but they were basically expressing their huge disappointment that a big fashion blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers, actually had an 81% fake following. He was so disillusioned as you can imagine.
And I was like…. How does he know it’s 81%? HOW??!! And this is how – http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ – Gosh! I spent quite a while on it – well until it said I had used up my limit of searches and had to wait 15 minutes before I could use it again!! It is rather addictive and also strangely fun!
As you can see above on the check I did on my own account, it tells you how may fake followers and inactive followers people have, and comes up with a % score of how good the following is. Mine is currently 81%, so if I understand it right, out of my current 7935 followers, 6427 (I think!!) are engaged, tweeting, real people.
So basically, here it the main point of what I was saying. If this twitter tool is to be trusted, I think I have found a good way to work out if people on twitter are as influential as they appear to be. I do hope it helps anyone who needs to know.
If you want to chat about it on twitter a hashtag could help. I suggest #TwitterFakes
And now that I have that off my chest I shall resume normal service. Back to pretty, girly sparkly! Phewph!
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