At the last count, the American singer has 21,768,612 followers (that’s almost equal to the population of Australia) hanging on her every tweet. If some decide to unfollow her, she won’t even notice.
If, however, you’re not Lady Gaga and you’re not in the public eye, you’re more likely to have followers in the tens, hundreds or low thousands rather than in the millions. And if you wake up one morning to see you’ve been unfollowed by a large percentage of your ‘fans’, your heart might sink a bit.
Worse, if some of those who unfollowed you are friends and family, paranoia could well set in…“Was it something I tweeted?”
According to a fair amount of anecdotal evidence, however, it appears that in some cases, rather than people choosing to unfollow someone, a bug in the system has been making the choice for them.
Some Twitter users have said it’s been happening to them for months, but nothing has been done. But on Wednesday Twitter finally acknowledged the problem and said it’s working on a fix.
TechCrunch reported on Wednesday that a Twitter contact had confirmed there was indeed an issue. “This is a bug, and our team is working to fix it,” the contact said.
Of course, the bug works both ways, meaning that you might find yourself being randomly cut off from people you follow, causing you to have to go through the process of following them again — if/when you realize you’ve stopped following them, that is.
Comments at #unfollowbug suggest many Twitter users who’ve been losing lots of followers are pretty darn relieved to hear Twitter confirm that in some cases at least, it’s a bug causing the problem rather than bored/disgruntled/offended users choosing to cut the link.
“There is an #UnfollowBug I thought I was doing something wrong! I lost like 100 ppl today! Glad to know its not me. Lol,” Amy Markham tweeted on hearing the news.
“Have been checking my account for the #unfollowbugand it’s been all the people I interact most with… weird,” another user, Yvonne Duffield, tweeted.
Another user, Eric H, quipped, “I’d totally have a million followers if not for Twitter’s #UnfollowBug.” He currently has 2,066.
If you’re a Twitter user, have you noticed any odd behavior in the following/unfollowing department?