I just love a good conspiracy theory. So here comes one you might want to investigate, exaggerate and circulate. However firstly I want to say that I have no proof, evidence or confirmation that Twitter is a front for the CIA, Homeland Security, Mossad or the FBI. I will say though that these agencies and many more like them in every country around the world must be licking their lips with delight at the ease at which 145 million people now voluntarily spill all the beans on themselves.
However, this has nothing to do with my own theory which is about the number of living, breathing, tweeting and texting Twitter users there really, in fact, are in this recently released number of 145,000,000 so-called Twitter users. My theory goes like this. As has been reported, Twitter only has a retention rate of 30% of new users after one month of registering. So let’s reduce this 145 million to a more likely 43.5 million active users.
Now let me factor in multiple accounts. This is almost impossible to quantify, but in recent days I have been followed by nearly 30 accounts with the same name except for an underscore and number at the end of the user name. It is also noticeable how many times I see the exact same ‘spam’ tweet from a number of accounts. In my case, new book reviews can often be seen word for word from as many as 50 accounts. Then there are users who have a second little account for when they want to tweet with a little secrecy. And lastly there are so called fake celebrity accounts that are simply used to attract followers, and are in fact dead accounts collecting user names to be followed by spammers. So I am going to reduce the active user number again by a modest 15% to account for these multiples. So now we are at 37 million.
Now let’s take spammers and bots. There is no way these can be included as active users as they are simply spewing out automated junk. I used Twit Cleaner to check on the number of spammers I am following and it found that 20% were as they say ‘Potentially Dodgy Behaviour’. So now my estimate of living, breathing, tweeting and texting Twitter users gets reduced to 29.5 million.
I’ll stop calculating here and settle on the now remaining 115.5 million so called active Twitter accounts being in fact dead or crap accounts.
Armed with this information, I thought I might try and clean out my inactive, dead and just gave up on Twitter accounts. Easy. No way!
In recent months Twitter has been shutting down service to apps that help you clean out your account. I know of six apps I used regularly that have been forced to remove these useful services by Twitter. Clearly, Twitter does not want its users to be able to unfollow these crap accounts. But why?
Well, doesn’t 145 million looks a lot better than 29.5 million to the investors behind Twitter?
I must say however, that I like Twitter and the concept of the social networking capabilities that it offers. But I don’t like to be taken for a fool either. So Twitter, clean up your act and stop building your service on a huge garbage dump of hidden falsehoods and let me decide who I want to follow or not.