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How and Why to Unfollow Twitter Users (Tools + Tips)

Good and bad reasons to unfollow Twitter users, plus some simple unfollow tools

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The Twitter IPO Revealed © Twitter

The best reason to unfollow Twitter users is that you no longer like seeing what they’ve posted in your feed. They’re annoying, they post spam, and they make you think angry thoughts when you see them clouding up your feed.

A bad reason to unfollow someone on Twitter is because they don’t follow you back, even though that’s why many people unfollow people on Twitter. Back in the old days of Twitter, this was pretty common. When you followed someone, it was sort of an exchange of karma where you expected the other person to follow you back.

Now, not so much. There are approximately 100 kajillion people on Twitter and they’re not going to follow you back. Celebrities especially won’t follow you back. There are lots of spammers on Twitter now, so people have turned off notifications when people follow them. So, if you think someone isn’t following you out of spite, maybe it’s just because they have no idea who you are and that you are following them.

With that said, nobody is under any obligation to follow you back on Twitter, and it’s unrealistic to expect it. I have a couple thousand followers on Twitter and once in a while I’ll go in and see who’s following me. If I find people that I think I’d like to hear more from, I’ll follow them back. But I can’t follow back everyone, or Twitter would become useless to me. My feed would become overrun with irrelevant Tweets. The same goes for you. Do you really want to be following thousands of people, or just the people you think are interesting?

But alas, let’s get into it. If you want to know how to unfollow Twitter users best, here’s how. Also, you should know that your account may be flagged and suspended if you unfollow more than 100 people per day because spammy bots tend to do this and it’s a big red flag.

  1. Unfollow them the traditional way. Go to their profile and click the big blue “following” button until it turns red and says “unfollow.” You’ll be able to tell if they’re following you back, because in their profile it will say “follows you” next to their username.
  2. ManageFlittr. There are lots of unfollowing tools, but this one is pretty well known and legit (aka not that spammy). You can unload 100 people who don’t follow you every day, otherwise you pay to unfollow more. I wouldn’t recommend this though because you may get your account suspended for unfollowing more than 100 people at a time.
  3. Qwittr. Want to know every time someone unfollows you? This app will send you an email. It also will Tweet for you and let everybody know when you lost a follower. I don’t know why anybody would want that, but there you go.
  4. JustUnfollow. This is kind of a mashup of Quittr and ManageFlittr. You can see who doesn’t follow you and unfollow them, but you can also get alerts and send auto-tweets about how many people followed/unfollowed you.

There's also a ton of follower tools.

Personally I find it a little depressing to know who unfollows me, especially when it’s someone who I’ve known on Twitter for a long time. But if you really want to know who unfollows you, these are more than enough options. If you want an easy way to get new followers, try Twitter Chats.

Here are some general rules of guidance if you find yourself obsessed with unfollowing people who don’t follow you:

  • Stop caring if people follow you back.
  • Stop following people with the expectation that they’ll follow you back.
  • Care only about what’s in your Twitter feed and what you want to see.
  • Stop caring that you show up in everybody else’s feeds.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you on Twitter (you look silly)
  • Do keep trying to get the attention of your favorite celebrities (sometimes they do write back!)
  • Stop using all the tools above.

When you want to unfollow someone, just do it. And don't block them, because it's not the same thing. If you need a tool to do it, then you probably made a lot of mistakes and followed people for the wrong reasons.

Here’s what I do: when someone continually pops up in my feed posting something I find annoying, negative or unpleasant, I unfollow them. And I just keep doing that as it occurs. You won’t always know that someone is stinky to follow right away, and that’s OK. But if you need to bulk unfollow people, you might want to consider reassessing your entire following strategy on Twitter.

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