New Twitter influencer score to come, as founder says follower count just isn’t effective

social media tweeting influence

The number of followers that you have doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an influencer on Twitter, according to one of the application’s creators. Twitter’s co-founder Ev Williams spoke at a Branch roundtable on Monday in New York City, about a new feature that the company is purportedly building that will make Twitter followers second fiddle to what Williams referred to as “The dream metric,” according to Buzzfeed. The “dream” metric, he says, is “how many people saw you tweet.”

The operative word there being “people.” It’s not secret that Twitter has a  massive spambot problem, making the follower count a worthless metric. With marketers scrutinizing other marketer’s black hat practices of garnering Twitter followers through illicit means, the value of a Twitter follower is no longer what it used to be.

Klout and Kred have both tried to solve the problem by creating value based on a metric that not only takes into consideration of the number of Twitter and Facebook followers you have, but also how many of these followers are in fact engaging with the content that you’ve published. Twitter, which has a reported 40 percent of users who never tweet, including an indication of how effective a user’s reach is would clear up much of the platform’s confusion. At the same time, it would be a clear way to separate users with a suspiciously exaggerated number of Twitter followers — those who bought fake followers.

Williams was implicitly aware of these facts, and explained during the panel that retweets, not followers, is a more effective metric to “capture your distribution” and assess how influential a Twitter user is. At the moment, anyone can get a glimpse of how many interactions a users is garnering from his or her followers to a certain degree. In June, Twitter canned its vague “50+” metric that indicated a user had garnered more than 50 retweets or favorites, and replaced it to display an exact count. Of course if you’re looking to find out just how influential a user is, you’d have to open up every single Tweet to view these numbers.

During the panel, Williams indicated that with Twitter’s API restrictions placed on developers, the company now has a better sense of who’s using the site and the interactions that are occurring as users begin to migrate from third-party apps to Twitter’s native site. He explained that with Twitter’s greater (albeit tight-knit) control over its data, it could measure whether or not a Tweet was read at all, or how much it had been read. 

For those of you clinging to your impressive follower count, we wouldn’t worry: The introduction of a better influence metric wouldn’t likely eliminate the display of follower numbers — it’s still an important number, albeit it less revealing than we may think. 

Would you welcome a Twitter influencer score or would you prefer that Twitter simply lists the number of followers that you have? Let us know in the comments below.


How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Social Media

Facebook axes alleged discriminatory targeting of ads after civil settlements

Facebook advertisers can no longer use targeting for age, gender or zip code when advertising in the housing, jobs, and credit categories. The changes come as part of a civil settlement, following earlier changes to remove racial targeting.