Finding Twitter Users Who Follow Back

Bob Leggitt | Tuesday, 24 July 2012 |

WARNING: This page contains a feed which features random material posted live on Twitter. Due to the live nature of the feed, it is impossible to fully moderate the content within it. Every effort has been made to filter out potentially offensive language and keep the feed presentable, but you may still find material in the feed offensive. In continuing to read this page you consent to viewing a feed containing unvetted material.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone you followed on Twitter, actually followed you back? Well that, of course, is the Holy Grail for many Twitter users. Establishing a way of finding accounts which are guaranteed to follow back has proved pretty elusive for most, but I felt that there must be some methods of narrowing down the field. So over the past few weeks I've been looking into the issue in some depth - to the extent that, in the end, I decided to try and develop a utility to help out. I've published that utility on this page. It's really just a bit of experimental fun which may help you and may not. But I thought it was worth posting. Please remember though, that my resource is not meant to be a stand-alone solution. In order to properly assess the accounts which are pretty sure to follow back, you need to read the accompanying text, and apply the knowledge. The utility provides some raw material. You then need to use additional discretions to home in on the accounts which actually will follow you back in something approaching a permanent sense.

WHAT IS THE UTILITY?

What you see at the bottom of this page is a feed, based on a search of Twitter. The original feed on this page was made using Yahoo Pipes, which unfortunately ceased to function when Twitter updated its systems to exclude RSS. My Following Anonymously article gives a little more detail on the implications of the changes. The original feed was based on a search for a number of keywords and phrases, which suggested that the account holder followed back every follow. However, since the changes to Twitter's system, I've been reluctant to spend a large amount of time redeveloping a widget for the page. I have replaced the original widget, but with a simplified version serving roughly the same purpose - which I figured was better than leaving the page in a completely useless state.

Obviously, not everyone who claims to follow back every follower is genuine. Marketing spammers are pretty easy to spot, but what about bots which pretend to be individuals? Well, these bots typically tweet quotes - most of which are simply swiped from other Twitter users, or various 'sources' on the web. They essentially only tweet quotes, they never or only very rarely @message people, and often they occasionally tweet promos for the business which sells the bot. Typically, they'll have upwards of 20% more accounts following them than they are following. That ratio alone should deter you.

Be highly cautious about following anyone who has a significantly higher number of accounts following them than they themselves are following. If someone has 4,500 followers, but is only following 3,500, and they claim to follow everyone back, then evidently they're not telling the truth. Ideally, if you're after accounts which are more likely to follow back permanently, you want accounts which have a roughly equal follower/friend ratio, or accounts which are following more than they have following them. It's worth take this element seriously, because whilst an account with more followers than friends may follow you back in the immediate term, you'll almost certainly find that the 'friendship' won't last, and you get dropped after a few weeks, when the account holder or bot has a 'clear out'. You can of course follow any account you choose, but there's absolutely no point in following bots because there's literally no one there.

You should next be aware that the tweets in this feed are taken from the randomness of the Twittersphere. In the end, this is now a simple, automated search for Twitter users who claim they always follow back. It gives you something to work with, but I don't vouch for any of the accounts in the results. The results could include trolls, DM spammers, and/or people with offensive views. You need to investigate accounts for yourself before following them, and whether or not you follow is your responsibility.

USING THE FEED

Scroll through the results below. If you see an account that interests you, click on the username link and you'll go straight to the appropriate profile page on Twitter. Assess the account, ensuring that it does something other than issue quotes, beg for followers or try to sell stuff, and pay particular attention to the follower/friend ratio (see above). If you're happy following the account, proceed. You'll probably only find a few really viable accounts in each set of results, but if you look for the accounts which display a reasonable amount of interactivity, and you follow the guidelines above, you should have some success. Is it worth the hassle? It depends how much you want followers I suppose. But this filtered search feed is, I believe, a much better starting point than simply groping around in the dark - especially if you're quite new to Twitter. All content in the feed below is the property of Twitter and the respective users. Views expressed are those of randomly located individuals, and are in no way endorsed by this site. And please remember, this is an experiment. It's not perfect. It'll be more help at some times than others...

NOTE: The feed may currently be displaying only as a direct link to Twitter. If that's the case for you, clicking the link will give you the same results on Twitter itself.





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