I’ve been on Twitter since 2007, and I’m approaching 5,000 followers. Maybe I don’t tweet enough.
When I look at some of the folks on Twitter these days, I find it incredible that some of them have 50,000, 500,000, or even over a million followers. If you aren’t famous in your own right, why are all these people following you?
The typical answer: because you are following all of them back.
Luckily, the ways of Twitter are finally starting to wise-up — people are becoming more interested in effectiveness, as we see the use of influence-measurement tools (ie Klout, Twinfluence) and Lists (though these are often misused to purposely omit people from them, but we already knew social media is a lot like high school).
At least Twitter acknowledges that friend overload has become a problem, implementing strict guidelines to the amount of followers you can add daily.
So let’s ask the question: how many followers should people really have? I would argue that it should at least in part depend on an account’s age.
There will always be exceptions to the rule (i.e. celebrities, top name brands, and one of a kind accounts like @shitmydadsays), but how many followers should a typical user of the service actually accumulate over time? How many people should they attempt to follow back?