WARNING: How I lost all of my 6000 Twitter followers

This post was written by Greig on April 1, 2010
Posted Under: Twitter Marketing


WARNING — 4/1/10


There are so many applications to go with Twitter, the Tweetdeck, TwitPwr, Tweetlater, the lsit goes on and on.

I thought I had discovered one application that was really cool, called “SocialToo”

Socialtoo had several nice fatures:

1. It allowed me to automatically follow back people who were following me on Twitter, (a huge time saver)
2. It blocked out DMs coming from people who were clogging my inbox
3. It would send me stats with the number of unfollows I had each day & tell me which Tweet caused them to unfollow me.
4. It would automatically unfollow anyone who decided to unfollow me.

This last one is where the problem started.

How this works it Socialtoo using the Twitter API to take a snap shot of your followers on today and then tomorrow it takes another snap shot of your followers and then the technology compares the two images.

Well somehow yesterdays snap shot showed got screwd up because the servers were overloaded at Twitter and the snap shot showed that I had zero followers so when it compared that snap shot to today the Socialtoo system automatically unfollowed all of my followers and I lost all 6000 of my followers in one second.

I tried to call Socialtoo to ask them if there was a way to restore my followers and they said there was nothing they could do that “these things happen”.

While this is an April Fools story, the Moral of the story is NEVER USE AN APPLICATION TO AUTO UNFOLLOW OR THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.

To quote my Social Media Mentor Perry Belcher: “Please leave me a comment so I know your still alive?”


Reader Comments

Ha, ha, ha! Good one!

Written By Tina Fortune on April 1st, 2009 @ 7:49 AM

Hi Tina, Glad you got a laugh out of that true story. Your friends will to so please Re-Tweet it for them.

Happy April Fools!


Written By Greig on April 1st, 2009 @ 8:25 AM

LOL! You fooled me to the bitter end. Thanks for the chuckle!

Written By Elyse Williamson on April 1st, 2009 @ 9:26 AM

You can read her response on LinkedIn at http://TwitPWR.com/aCQ/

” I am REALLY busy, but wanted to pass this on to my followers in case it could help them prevent something bad. Please don’t waste my time with any more April Fool’s jokes.”


Written By Kristi Colvin on April 1st, 2009 @ 11:09 AM

Hey Kristi, First of all this is a true story and a valuable lesson. Second of all if you don’t have a sense of humor on April Fools Day you obviously don’t get what social media is all about and probably not the kind of “manager” most people would want to work for.

I can’t believe your job is “managing the user experience” when you are so callous in your comments and so clueless about “the user experience”. Maybe if you go “it” you wouldn’t be REALLY busy instead you could actually take a moment to laugh when someone “got” you with a practical joke on April Fools Day.

Lighten up or get off Twitter!

PS - They say a good feud is the best thing you can have on Twitter so Bring it on!


Written By Greig Wells on April 1st, 2009 @ 11:09 AM

Amazing some people can’t take a joke. Way too stick up for humor in life Greig!

Written By Ethan Lewis on April 1st, 2009 @ 11:16 AM

Great April Fools joke! Impossible with SocialToo though. First, if Twitter ever returns 0 followers we ignore it so we’ll never completely kill who you’re following, and second, if you enable auto-follow, despite losing followers, they’ll catch up again after the auto-follow kicks in. Also, if you were to contact us, I would definitely have gotten your followers back in order.

You do have to be careful with other services that do this though - I can’t guarantee it with others.

Jesse Stay
CEO, SocialToo.com

Written By Jesse Stay on April 1st, 2009 @ 12:18 PM

Hi Jesse, thanks for your response and for clarifying this. I’m impressed that you were tracking your own company info as good companies should. I appreciate that you got the joke in this.

I actually got the whole idea for this post because Tweetlater sent an e-mail basically saying this has happened with people on other services except for theirs of course. lol I bet it scared a lot of people into switching people over to them. So again I am glad you are setting the record strait.

If you would like me to alter the posting to remove your company name I will gladly do so although I think with your response now, this does more put you in a positive light. Any press is good press right? lol

I encourage you to expand on the topic as you see needed and I will also tweet this out to my 6000 followers for you.

Greig Wells

Written By Greig on April 1st, 2009 @ 12:37 PM

Great April Fools Joke.
I would definately leave the company name it. I for one am going to use the service now.



Written By Mike on April 1st, 2009 @ 2:59 PM

Nice Mike! I wrote back to Jesse and I think it is great that the CEO of the company is in touch with day to day users.

Written By Greig on April 1st, 2009 @ 3:03 PM

I forgot it was April 1! I’ve been at this computer way too long.

Written By Sheila on April 1st, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

Even thought this is an April’ fools, this type of event has happened to many, where technological glitches have a drastic affect upon our social media campaigns. What I am mostly impressed with about this post is that the CEO of socialtoo.com took the time to respond and comment. THATS what its all about! A powerful message to gain new clients without selling. Thank you Jesse.

All the best,

Written By jayson on April 1st, 2009 @ 4:16 PM

You got me! I haven’t ever used a service to automatically follow or unfollow, but this is a scary thought that you proposed.

Written By Jason Crouch on April 1st, 2009 @ 10:57 PM

Ha ha you had me till the end. But you’re right, the possibility exists and could easily happen in an instant. Follow the Gallery Sites:


Written By Gallery Sites on April 2nd, 2009 @ 5:04 AM

at first I was thinking that you shouldn’t have used a real company in the joke, but now reading the comments, I think I’ll try it. funny how that works.

Written By sylvia on April 2nd, 2009 @ 11:03 AM


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