Squatters Own 80% of Twitter

A recent article on Techcrunch showed facts that 80% of twitter accounts have less than 10 followers.

Here is the total break down of stats in the article:

Accounts with 0 followers: 29.4%
Accounts with 1 to 9 followers: 50.9%
Accounts with 10 or more followers: 19.7%

Accounts following 0 people: 24.4%
Accounts following 1 to 9 people: 43.4%
Accounts following 10 or more people: 32.2%

Accounts with 0 Tweets: 37.1%
Accounts with 1 to 9 Tweets: 41.0%
Accounts with more 10 or more Tweets: 21.9%

Now in the article and in the comments people are blaming SEO’s for this spamming twitter.

I think they have the wrong angle one this.

These accounts are not spamming…. these accounts are just sitting idle. And have been idle for a long time.

I know some SEO’s who have registered THOUSANDS of popular twitter names just sitting.

About a year ago I had a idea to scrape a list of the top 2000 most popular babynames and then match them against taken twitter names. about 25% were still open at the time. If I would have had the time I would have probably registered them and sat on them.

I just ran the script again and 100% of them are registered. Not surprised.

I am sure that all of these accounts that have zero followers are super old. I just registered an account yesterday for a company we are launching and instantly was followed by wholefoods and a couple other huge brands. Talking with others they have the same experience.

Not sure if twitter is doing this for them, they are just following sequential ids, or just scraping the new users but one thing is very clear. Its next to impossible to register a new twittername and not get 10 followers if you use the account at all.