Twitter Limits and How To Get Around Them

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The number one complaint I hear from people who are trying to grow their Twitter following is that they can’t do it fast enough! They get frustrated when they hit Twitters API limits and can’t follow more people. You may ask what does Twitter API limits mean and how does this impact your ability to grow your following?

Twitter has set limits in place that follow a set of ratios of your “following” (those who you follow) to “followers” (those who follow you).

The reason that Twitter has these limits in place is to keep spammers in check. For example, if Twitter sees that you followed 1000 people in one day but only 100 of them are following you back then this raises a SPAM ALERT. The reason for all social media is to build connections and, if you are smart, relationships. When you are following more people than you are connecting with in this type of ratio, this is a red flag.

Building your Twitter follow does require some basic knowledge so that you won’t get flagged by Twitter as a spammer and/or lose your account for the same. If you see an advertisement that says they can get you thousands of followers in ONE day – RUN! Your goal should be to build a quality list of followers who you are interested in and who will be interested in you and your business in return.

What are the limits?

  • Direct Messages: 250 per day.
  • API Requests: 150 per hour.
  • Updates: 1,000 per day. FYI Retweets are counted as updates.
  • Changes to Account Email: 4 per hour.
  • Daily Following: This is a technical limit imposed by Twitter. The official number is 1,000 per day. Here is a link to Twitter’s Follow Limits and Best Practices Page.
  • Other Following Rules: Once your account is following 2,000 other Tweeters,following rules are dictated by account specific ratios. Hit the Follow Limits and Best Practices Page again for more info on this.

Now you know what the limits are and if you are continuing to have problems adding new followers, I suggest doing a little housekeeping.

Some Twitter Housekeeping Is The Answer

  • Take 15 minutes a day and go through your list of those you follow. Do a quick scan of their bio and this will help determine if you want to keep the connection. If you don’t, click the “unfollow” button. This will help keep your ratios in balance.
  • Look for people who are inactive on twitter that you may be following.  If they haven’t tweeted in year, chances are you are not connecting with them on Twitter! What to do? Unfollow ‘em!
  • Sometimes when using automated software you discover that you are connected with people who post inappropriate content or content that you do not wish to see for sure. Unfollow ‘em!

Once you have cleaned Twitter house this will allow you to add more followers.  If you are active on Twitter, sharing good content and chatting with other tweeters then more people will be attracted to you and they will start to follow you. Your twitter following will really start to expand virally at this point.

Anyone have any great tips to share for growing your following on Twitter without hitting their API limits? Leave your tips in the comments section below. Love to hear from you!

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Lucy Davis
Lucy Davis
13 years ago

Great post, you've got some great tips here. I didn't realize there was a daily following limit! Then again, I've been adding people pretty slowly.

13 years ago

Thanks for this great info Kim!! I have been one of those often frustrated by limits and having to wait patiently so the ideas you have given everyone here will be absolutely valuable for them .

11 years ago

Twitter is a huge traffic driver for sure!

Simon Lee
Simon Lee
11 years ago

Hi Kim, really useful info. One problem is that I like to follow the 'news-makers' and industry leaders but as they generally do not follow back the follower/following ratio is distorted. So, what I've started doing is to put all these people into lists, and in that way I can still follow their tweets easily without having to follow them. I just have to bring the list up to see what's going on. I've found this useful to keep the number of 'following' down.

Reply to  Simon Lee
11 years ago

That is exactly what I do and what I teach in Twitter Muscle ;-). It’s a great way to keep track of those that you want to monitor even if they don’t follow you back.

Kim Garst
9 years ago

No, there is no way to get them raised. This is a limit imposed by Twitter.

Kim Garst
8 years ago

James they should apply to all equally. In fact, without blackhat techniques, they do. Most who are not abiding by the rules have found a way around them, honestly.

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