Twitter’s Suffocating 2K Limit and How to Breathe Again


This is a blog about Twitter and the ratio-based limits on how many tweeps you can follow. (Tweeps are people who tweet, but you knew that.)

If you end up following 2000 tweeps and a lot less follow you, suddenly you can’t follow any more tweeps!

This can be very sad if you, like me, want to follow all kinds of people and you don’t really care if they follow you back.

So… what do you do?

This is what you do.

You make lists! If you don’t use lists, you are missing out. You probably limit who you follow so that your feed doesn’t fill up with annoying stuff.

My main list so far has been my friend list, where I put people who talk to me and don’t market or RT too much. I also love Seandblogonaut’s Auspecfic list. You could ask, “But, Helen, why do you even follow accounts that annoy you?”

“Because I like diversity in my feed, I guess,” would I reply.

I thought a LOT about what to call my relevant list to help achieve my main goal, which was to be able to follow more tweeps without having to stop following those that I liked and/or who follow me back. In the long term, I need more followers. But I’m not going RT something to get x follows. Annoying!

So, how could I use a list to communicate to tweeps I follow that I want them to follow me back?

(You know, I could just tweet to people, “Please follow me,” but that seems a bit pushy and annoying. And I don’t want a feed full of that. Using a list is more subtle.)

So I decided I’d list and unfollow big magazines and organisations, because they are never going to follow me back. If I was their social media person, I would follow all my followers back, because what a great way to keep your market close.

At Gold Coast Anthology and GC Speckies we try to follow all our followers back. Sometimes it comes down to not taking the time to make sure you get everyone. But if someone follows you and mentions or RTs you, I really think it makes sense to follow them back.

Anyway, I made “Science News” and “Publishers and Writing” lists, and I’ve started adding accounts to those, and unfollowing them. If I want to check out what’s being tweeted about science news or writing news, I can check those lists. It’s a bit sad that they are no longer in my main feed, but it’s the lesser evil to being blocked from following more everyday tweeps.

The main problem was naming the list that I would use to let people know that I’d like them to follow me back. At first I thought I’d unfollow them first, but I’d rather not do that. And removing magazines and organisations had provided the slack I needed in the short term.

I created the list: “Follow me? Or not.” I think sometimes tweeps don’t realise they don’t follow you back, and it really doesn’t matter, until you get to following 2K and your ratio displeases Twitter. Putting them in this list will bring it their attention, I think. Maybe they’ll block me. Block power to them! That is, I don’t really mind. Twitter is a big pond.

I’m not sure how this will play out in the long term, but in the short term I’ve decreased the number I follow sufficiently that I can follow again at will. Yay me. I’d be interested to hear how other people deal with this suffocating 2K limit.


4 thoughts on “Twitter’s Suffocating 2K Limit and How to Breathe Again

  1. Every few months I just go to one of those “who isnt following me” sites and trawl through everyone and unfollow anyone who I cant remember who they are or I know they havent followed back after like 6 months of following. With the exception of Alan Baxter … because Al’s cool. One day he’ll follow me back lol…. maybe.

      1. Yeah. It’s ok.. Once you break that 2000 barrier you can follow a few thousand more I think. That’s on of my long term strategies… Get the followers up, cha them by tweeting roguish cods wallop and reach them with my writing via WordPress auto tweeting my posts etc.

      2. That’s great news, Simon! Sounds like a good strategy. We will be charmed and reached. And congratulations on the twins! Omg, how exciting. Double the joy! I’m glad you already have one, so you know what you’re in for! If I lived closer I’d offer to baby sit. 🙂

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