We wrote about the sketchy world of fake Facebook fans back in May, but the phenomenon is apparently just as rampant and shady on Twitter. To shed some light on the truth about fake Twitter followers, social media management startup Status People developed a tool that studies a sample set of 500 followers to determine what percentage of them are fake, inactive and good.
Fake followers are suspected spam bots; inactive are followers that haven’t tweeted in a while; and good are followers that are actively engaged.
Naturally, our first inclination was to plug in the cofounders of Twitter to see what their percentages looked like. Turns out they have some pretty inflated follower numbers.
Jack Dorsey: 2,060,252 Followers
8 percent fake, 32 percent inactive, 60 percent good
Mr. Dorsey had the most legit follower count, with only 164,820 out of his 2+ million followers being fake accounts.
Ev Williams: 1,504,115 Followers
11 percent fake, 49 percent inactive, 40 percent good
Mr. Williams fared slightly worse, boasting 165,452 fake followers.
Biz Stone: 1,937,599 Followers
18 percent fake, 42 percent inactive, 40 percent good
One word: ouch. 348,767 of Mr. Stone’s followers are fake, almost double the amount of his fellow cofounders.
And just because this is fun, here are a few others:
TechCrunch: 20 percent fake, 39 percent inactive, 41 percent good
Marissa Mayer: 18 percent fake, 29 percent inactive, 53 percent good
Mike Bloomberg: 14 percent fake, 35 percent inactive, 51 percent good
Bill Gates: 45 percent fake (!!), 36 percent inactive, 19 percent good
Paul Graham: 6 percent fake, 29 percent inactive, 65 percent good
For the record, Betabeat only has 3 percent fake followers, 19 percent inactive and 78 percent good–though we do possess a slight fraction of followers compared to most of these accounts. Sigh.