A new service called Fakefollowers allows Twitter users to see how many of their followers are of high quality or “real.”
Consider this service to be lumped in with other social tools like Klout which is used to measure social influence. I can already see the fights starting. “Hey, I have more Twitter followers than you.” “Oh yeah? Well 20% of yours are fake. Mine are almost all legit!”
What is considered fake? Well according to the company this is the current criteria and since the service is in Beta, we can expect them to change:
- The Following / Followers ratio is less than 50 Following / 1 Follower
- They repeat spam phrases like “diet,” “make money,” and “work from home”
- Tweets are repeated more than three times
- More than 90% of the account´s tweets are retweets
- More than 90% of tweets are links and the profile has a following: followers ratio of 7 : 1 or more. This means, for example, that the profile is following 7 others while only being followed by 1.
- The account has never tweeted
I checked some popular sites like TechCrunch which has almost 2.5 million followers and 18% of them are fake. Huffington Post has almost 2.4 million followers and 15% are fake. Robert Scoble at over 300,000 followers has a low fake percentage of 8%. Tom Keating and I have under 10,000 followers each but our fake scores are also very low at 4% and 1% respectively.
What does all this mean? According to the company, if your percentage falls within these ranges:
- 0–10% Your Followers are legitimate and alright.
- 10-20% You may have some fake or inactive Followers, but you probably have nothing to worry about.
- 20-50% Be cautious. If you have a large number of Followers, it is expected that some will be inactive or fake.
- 50-70% Now this is a red flag! Check your Followers and look at who they are.
- 70-100% Your account is practically made out of fake Followers. Take action immediately!
There is no word on what action to take if you fall into the latter categories but starting over may be the way to go.