Overview of Upcoming ManageFlitter Changes:
Twitter has made some changes to its “Automation Rules and Best Practices”.
Unfortunately ManageFlitter will no longer be able to provide the ability to select multiple accounts to follow or unfollow as indicated in the screenshot below.
Sometime between 5 September 2013 and 9 September 2013 we will be removing the ability to select multiple accounts to follow and unfollow.
Please note that this is not our decision but rather we have been forced to make these changes by Twitter.
Twitter now disallows all forms of “automated or bulk following and unfollowing “.
We understand that many of you find this feature a very efficient method of helping you prune and manage your accounts and improve your overall Twitter experience.
You will still be able to analyse your account and gain insight into who to unfollow and follow but when we make the changes (sometime between 5 September 2013 and 9 September 2013) you will have to click on each account you wish to unfollow and follow individually.
The features will remain intact except for the checkboxes and the “drag to select” feature which Twitter have instructed us to remove.
Rest assured the updated version of ManageFlitter will continue to provide the efficient and high quality user experience that our customers have come to know and love.
To send us feedback or if you have any questions regarding this issue you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. You can also tweet us @ManageFlitter.
If you would like to send Twitter feedback about this change you can tweet the Twitter CEO Dick Costolo at @dickc.
Further Details – ManageFlitter’s Opinion & Analysis About The Changes:
We believe ManageFlitter’s features – including the batch follow/unfollow makes Twitter better. Thus it is with regret and reluctance that we remove this feature.
We know that the removal of the batch follow/unfollow feature doesn’t make sense from our users’ perspective – it is a feature that many of our nearly 2 million customers have told us helps bring Twitter to life for them.
We assume that Twitter’s concern is that batch following/unfollowing compromises the integrity of the social graph and makes it easier for spammers to abuse Twitter. [Twitter have noted to us that “Unfortunately we can’t provide specifics regarding the reasons behind a policy change.”]
However we feel that Twitter limiting the ability of users to manage their accounts through tools like ManageFlitter will have a limited effect on malicious social graph activity whilst at the same time punish genuine Twitter users who want to use legitimate services to help with the curation and management of their Twitter account.Unfortunately abuse of the social graph has always been a problem as a result of “black hat” tools which involve using automation to create accounts with millions of followers. These “black hat” tools do not use the official API and fake browser sessions to perform automation. The largest spam Twitter accounts have been using these tools for years. While some of the most prominent black hat tools have been forced to shut down or change, more are created each week.
ManageFlitter has always stood firmly in the “white hat” space which involves using the official APIs, following Twitter’s Rules and Best Practices and discouraging aggressive and non-organic social graph activity. Furthermore we have never offered any type of automated bulk following or unfollowing.
We believe the most effective way for Twitter to prevent the growth of spam accounts is to continue to improve spam detection algorithms. We feel by Twitter limiting batch follow/unfollow options punishes the very Twitter users that Twitter is trying to protect.
We understand that Twitter needs to protect the integrity of its social network. However we feel that in this specific instance trying to control specific aspects of third party applications with respect to UI look and function is often a loss/loss situation as Twitters users lose the benefit of useful features such as batch follow/unfollow and enhanced Twitter use yet illegitimate activity continues.
We have also long been advocates of Twitter placing a daily “hard limit” on the number of social graph changes a Twitter account can make – for example a hard limit of any Twitter account being able to only follow 150 new accounts and unfollow 150 accounts per day – be they bulk or manual follows/unfollows. We believe this would be best implemented through the Twitter API rather than by crippling the ability of white hat tools such as ManageFlitter to function.
We will continue to evolve ManageFlitter both within the spirit of the Twitter social media network as well as to assist Twitter users. Whilst we will obviously comply with Twitter’s request to remove batch following/unfollow we feel that batch follow/unfollow poses very little if any threat to the integrity of the Twitter social graph.
We encourage and appreciate your feedback around this issue. I will update this post with any new information that I receive including any new communication from Twitter and I will reply to comments below.