Twitter Sluts

A new term defined.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t a new term. And maybe I’m not qualified to define terms like these. But as I get an e-mail to inform me of yet another Twitter follower who has nothing in common with me, I came up with this term and felt a need to share it and its definition with the blogosphere.

A Twitter slut is a Twitter member who indiscriminately adds Twitter friends to his (or her) account. He may be doing this for one or more of the following reasons:

  • He’s believes that all of the people he adds as friends will reciprocate and add him as a friend so he has a large audience for his tweets. I discussed this phenomena in my “Twitter Spam” post.
  • He’s hoping that other people will respond directly to his tweets using the standard @membername format so other people will make him their friend.
  • He’s desperate to follow the tweets of anyone who can type intelligible comments into Twitter. That is a minority that I am apparently part of.

Twitter sluts can easily be identified by their friends to followers ratio. If that ratio exceeds 3:1 (that is, 3 friends for each 1 follower), that person is may be a Twitter slut. If the ratio is around 5:1 (5 friends for each 1 follower), that person is likely to be a Twitter slut. It the ratio is closer to (or higher than) 10:1 (10 friends for each 1 follower), that person is definitely a Twitter slut.

Twitter Ratio.jpgHere’s an example. This person has been a member of Twitter for only 9 days. Yet he’s added over 4,000 members as friends. With only 9 updates to his name, he has apparently attracted 398 suckers to reciprocate his friendship.

(Okay, okay. I’ll try to tune down the cynicism. But it’s very difficult sometimes.)

The other day, a Twitter member on the public timeline asked, “Am I the only one who gets a bunch of new friends every time I post a tweet?”

The answer: no, you’re not. Like the rest of us, you’ve just been discovered by a handful of Twitter sluts.

11 thoughts on “Twitter Sluts

  1. Yes!!!

    I got that guy last night, too!

    I hate ignoring these people and am tempted to block them (which I don’t) but they are obviosuly on some sort of quest or dare to accumulate as many friends as possible.

    They are not about building community.

    And in these strange times of ours, I am not interested in letting these folks too close. Funny where we put our boundaries and where we put our trust.

    Thanks for a good post, Maria.

  2. That could be it: a quest to see who can accumulate the most friends or followers. Usually they’re more open about getting followers — lately they’ve been tweeting that they “almost have 100” so please add them. Sheesh.

  3. Near on a year later, it still goes on.

    Most of these guys seem to want us as an adverising audience. If someone follows me, I have a look at them, see if they have a blog, and will usually follow them back for a while.

    If the conversation is one way and high volume, I unfollow them; if they’re interesting, I *will* take an RSS feed to netvibes.

    Unless they’re a bot, I don’t block them.

    Steve Ellwood’s last blog post..How to use social media?

  4. Well said, sir. Being relatively new to the Twitters, I thought I had coined a new phrase in “twittersluts” this morning. Sadly, I see that I am a year and a half late on that, but it’s good to know there are others out there who recognize the behavior patter.

  5. I started a group on Facebook called “Facebook Sluts”. It’s basically the same concept as the Twitter Slut. It applies to people that either spend too much time on FB or who comment too much on FB (Thats me) or anything in between.

  6. Hey Maria, fellow heli pilot in AZ, just reading this piece about Twittersluts. Very appropriate. Love your stuff, keep up the good work.

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