Would Twitter be the same without the follower count?

Everyone has a varying degree of an ego online and knowing mine is bigger than yours helps some of us, including me, sleep better at night. Facebook friends, blog comments, number of visitors and followers on Twitter are all examples of egotistical stats that we check almost daily.


What if they were gone? More specifically, what if on your Twitter profile you couldn’t see how many people followed you? Would you use still use the micro-blogging platform as aggressively as you currently do? Re-tweeting, sharing the number of links, running competitions etc. are all ways I see people using Twitter in the hope of more followers. Sure, some of the content is genuine, but there is a percentage of all our content that is aimed at getting more followers.

If Twitter removed the follower count, I honestly think the quality of content and users on Twitter would drop quite significantly. Take away the ego stroking stats within any web application and there always be users that will leave.

4 thoughts on “Would Twitter be the same without the follower count?”

  1. So what does this say about me if I recently “unfriended” almost 150 of my facebook “friends” after realising that they’re actually just people that I’ve met once or twice and who aren’t actually my friends?

    Is this like an alter-ego? :-)

  2. Haha! Guess so.

    Sure, services like Facebook become very cluttered if you befriend each and every person you ever have shook hands with, but services like Twitter, where your follower count doesn’t have any impact on the service, that’s where the ego-stroking happens big time!

  3. I think you’re right, and this rule applies to most people on Twitter – not that there aren’t the exceptions – people who join more to listen than to tweet. The more followers I’ve gotten the more I’ve been interest by the idea of getting followers though – it’s just the nature of Twitter.

  4. I think it depends on the person. Personally, I’m vaguely disinterested in the number of twitter followers I have or the number of Facebook friends I have. My core group of friends are the ones that I address my tweet and status updates to, not the random followers.

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