Twitter is changing its rules to prevent users — spammers, often —
from following or unfollowing users in “bulk,”or with a single click.
And Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has been telling people that personally when they ask him about it.
The folks at ManageFlitter, a social media management tool, do not like this one bit. Their clients are marketers and advertisers who get hundreds or thousands of new followers at a time. They’d like to be able to select all those new users at once and follow or unfollow them in bulk, simply because there are so many of them. But between Sept. 5 and Sept. 9, the bulk follow/unfollow actions will be disabled in ManageFlitter’s dashboard.
Accounts that don’t follow Twitter’s rules can be banned from the service.
So ManageFlitter founder Kevin Garber (and others) tweeted at Costolo to protest, and Costolo responded bluntly, “No bulk following, period.”:
Other users chimed in. After all, following and unfollowing masses of users is time-consuming:
But Costolo was unmoved:
Garber’s point, in that last tweet, is that bulk following is not the same as automated following. Spammers use auto-follows in order to build up fake Twitter armies composed of bots or zombie accounts. But companies with thousands of followers are different — they need a way to deal with their audience that is more than just one click, per person, at a time.