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Sep. 11, 2012 10:30 am

70% of Questlove’s Twitter followers are fake or inactive: tool from Status People

One of the defining characteristics of the social web is the access to metrics. The services that define this age — blogging platforms and online networking tools with household names — all have them. First, you counted friends and followers, but in recent years, options like Facebook Insights have been attempts at judging quality alongside […]

Updated: Readers have reported varying 'Good' Twitter follower counts from this service for Questlove and other widely-followed accounts. As noted in the story below, the service admits for users with more than 10,000 followers that the accuracy wanes. So, let's give Questlove a break on this one, and we'll admit our headline reflects one of the multiple totals that StatusPeople has reported.

One of the defining characteristics of the social web is the access to metrics.

The services that define this age — blogging platforms and online networking tools with household names — all have them. First, you counted friends and followers, but in recent years, options like Facebook Insights have been attempts at judging quality alongside quantity.

Twitter, too, has its fair share of efforts to do the same, including the Fake Follower Check service that launched in April from a London-based group called StatusPeople.

To get a sense of local Twitter users, Technically Philly used the service to size up what percentage of their followers were deemed ‘inactive’ and ‘spam,’ according to the service. Read more about the methodology from Cnet here, which also notes the service becomes somewhat less reliable for those with more than 10,000 followers*.

Try the service here, and post in the comments your totals.

Below, find a sample of 10 popular Philadelphia Twitter accounts and their totals according to the service (and, yes, we included Technically Philly to keep things on the level):

The majority of Philadelphia’s well-known staples rank relatively low in terms of fake followers. Click to enlarge.

Looking at 10 Philadelphia organizational Twitter accounts (and also Mayor Nutter, Roots drummer Questlove and rapper Meek Mill, to represent the city’s more popular accounts*), the broad takeaway is that overall follower count might not be as valuable a number as how many of those users are actively and authentically using.

Fully one fifth Questlove’s 2.2 million followers are being estimated as fake and half are inactive, leaving just a third as ‘good,’ still no small number at some 726,000.

Though Penn and Temple had similar fake user numbers, the Owls bested the Quakers for inactive. The four news providers studied had six percent fake followers on average, and the business considered had 8 percent fake followers.

This report was done in partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods program, the capstone class for the Temple’s Department of Journalism. Additional reporting was provided by editor Christopher Wink and reporter Juliana Reyes.

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