Millions of followers disappeared from Twitter accounts last week. While the drops were a minor blip for the majority of Twitter users, some brands and celebrities faced percentage drops in the double-digits. Twitter’s most-followed account, Katy Perry, lost 2 million, for example. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lost 200,000. Wheat Thins lost 12,003.
But that’s not a bad thing, marketers said.
The change brings more transparency to how big someone’s community is, based on who’s actually using Twitter, since these accounts were flagged as potential spam or inactive. It’s another long overdue step to make Twitter a better platform for effective marketing and also rewrite the standards for a quality campaign.
Twitter’s update is part of its new commitment to make conversation healthier on the platform. It also comes in the wake of increased pressure from regulators in the wake of Russian interference in 2016 election and after Unilever CMO Keith Weed and other marketers at this year’s Cannes Lions festival spoke out against fake followers, bots and other fraudulent practices in influencer marketing.
“It’s a marketers dream in a sense. It forces the issue of continuing to move away from vanity metrics on things like follower accounts to things that actually matter, meaningful engagement and sentiment,” said Darnell Brisco, vp of accounts in entertainment at Fullscreen.
Bobby Palmieri, CEO of Lilo Social, said, “I think there’s a huge gap between perceived audience and true influence, and this purge is the first step in bridging that gap.”
But the work is far from done. Marketers said they hoped Instagram would do more to purge its own bots and prevent fraud.
“I applaud Twitter for being as aggressive as they have, and I hope other social networks continue to follow suit. If marketers have a better sense what they have, and ad buyers aren’t buying fake impressions, campaigns can be more effective,” Brisco said.
Flynn, K. (2018, July 16). Twitter’s Bot Purge Welcomed by Agency Execs. Digiday.