Twitter has always been looking for better ways to combat spammers and it appears they have recently added a new measure to combat one aspect of gaming.
User can now only follow up to 2,000 friends before being limited and receiving this error message.
I noticed this over the weekend when working on one of my accounts. I have had the account a long time and it has a high natural follower count, but found myself limited when I hit the 2,000 number of people I was following.
I went and read the following section on their supposed “following limits”:
“Follow limits are based on several things, one of which is our belief in a person’s good standing and intention. The behind-the-scenes portion of follow limiting varies by account, relationship, and changes over time. Based on current behavior in the Twitter community, we’ve concluded that this is both fair and reasonable. While we figure out what works best for everyone, the limits may change occasionally, but this is the nucleus and future limits will be based upon the success of these.”
it also indicated that the limit was based on a 24 hour period so I decided to quit working on the account for the weekend and pick up again on Monday.
This morning I went to test and see if I could follow more than 2,000 and found that I was still given the error message.
I talked to a buddy, who did the same test over the weekend, and as of today he also has the same message and result.
A quick search on the web found a blog post from last month mentioning the change as of July 11, 2008, so this must have been in effect for about a month now. Another member was found posting in Twitter about it on August 2.
I am still unsure if maybe it is only certain people effected by the apparent following cap or if it is every Twitter user that is effected.
EDIT: Twitter user “jpostman” sent me a link to an update from one of Twitter’s technical support staff verifying that there are limits that change for each person.
Also Twitter user “NicoleSimon” took her following count from below 2,000 to 2,056 proving that it is possible if you have the right ratio or account trust.
EDIT – Aug. 12, 2008: The co-founder of Twitter, Evan Williams, commented on GigaOm’s post saying:
“Om, I’m afraid this has gotten confused. There is no limit to the number of followers you can have.
There is a limit to the number of people you can *follow*. This is mostly to reduce spam and depends on a number of factors. More details here: (link)”
If you have anything to add or an account that has been able to cross the 2,000 follower mark in the last month, please comment below.