Many Twitter users woke up this morning to find out that the number of Twitter followers they have shrunk, with some reporting that all their followers and people they followed had disappeared overnight.
Overnight, Twitter had managed to purge its user database, removing spam accounts and those created by automated bots. Twitter did not say what algorithm it used to exterminate the rogue accounts but it seems to be working as we have yet to hear any genuine accounts being mistakenly closed.
In a status update this morning, the microblogging website said that "those with large followings may see significant changes as we correct for spam accounts and data inconsistencies", adding that they were just removing "artifacts" from the system; the process hit the hot trends section under the keywords "Twitter Reduction".
Surprisingly, the likes of Ashton Kutcher, the biggest Twitter user by number of followers, and Britney Spears, did not suffer from a substantial drop in followers although generally, from a quick straw poll amongst Twitter offers in the office, we guess that around 7 percent of accounts were zapped.
Keeping Twitter as free as possible from spam is an essential prerequisite if the company is to attract more business users and thereof build a significant revenue model.
and join more than 1600 other followers
It is not the first time that Twitter has purged spam accounts and won't certainly be the last one; that is until it manages to come up with a foolproof way of keeping spam out. Still, it is refreshing to see that Twitter doesn't care to zap spammy user accounts even it reduces their user base count.
Why you're not as popular on Twitter as you thought
Twitter Correcting spam clean-up wipes users' followers
Twitter clears house as thousands of accounts deleted overnight
Twitter Cracks Down On Spam Accounts, People Lose Followers