Report: After purging locked accounts from follower lists, Twitter’s own account takes the biggest hit

Last week, Twitter made a grand gesture to show its commitment to improving the health of its platform by removing locked accounts from follower lists. The purge began toward the end of last week, resulting in many Twitter users with significant follower numbers losing, on average, 2 to 3 percent of their followers.

Socialbakers tracked follower numbers for the top 500 most followed accounts on Twitter between May 1 and July 12. According to reports from the social analytics company, Twitter’s official account (@Twitter) saw the biggest drop, losing 12.4 percent of its followers. Other accounts that saw a drop bigger than 3 percent included rapper 50 Cent (@50cent), who lost 6.3 percent of his followers, actor Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk), who lost 5.89 percent, and People Magazine (@People), which saw a 5.46 percent drop in followers.

Socialbakers also tracked the most followed e-commerce and retail brand accounts and found that Whole Foods Market (@WholeFoods) lost more than double the average percentage of followers, with a 6.78 percent drop. Zappos, Etsy and Amazon Music saw even higher drops. Zappos’ (@Zappos) follower numbers were down 9.09 percent, Etsy (@Etsy) lost 7.11 percent, and Amazon Music’s (@AmazonMusic) follower count dropped 10.46 percent.

Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak believes Twitter’s move to improve transparency will help marketers, who can now discover authentic influencers and better track their efforts on the app.

“The fact that Twitter is taking steps to remove fake accounts from its platform is sending a message that they have become more vigilant about eliminating illegitimate activity on the platform. This is a step in the right direction as Twitter shows its commitment to delivering an authentic, ‘digital-pollution’ free environment for both marketers and users,” says Ben-Itzhak.

4C CMO Aaron Goldman agrees. As an official Twitter partner, 4C has seen strong growth around ad performance on the app, with click rates up 22 percent year over year last quarter and overall ad spend through the 4C platform up 26 percent.

“Twitter is actively making changes to improve engagement on its platform. By deleting accounts that are suspicious it helps boost authentic conversation which ultimately drives more usage. This creates a virtuous cycle in which brands are able to contribute to the dialogue and present their products at the appropriate time and to the appropriate audience,” says Goldman.

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