Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Twitter Tip: How to automatically unfollow unfollowers

Thanks to Chris Brogan for posting about SocialToo, a very cool service which allows you to auto-follow Twitter and followers, not only that but it auto-UNfollows them if they unfollow you. That’s the feature I’m most interested in here. Too many people are taking advantage of the system by following thousands of people only to unfollow them once they have been followed back. That was a mouthful :-).

One thing though, SocialToo gives you the option to send a direct message when a person starts following you – PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. I had a poll here a little while back to get a feel for what you thought of this, the results were an outstanding no to auto DMs. Please tell Pistachio what you think about this too.

On that note, I have already begun unfollowing people who auto DM me when I follow them back. I encourage you to do the same to help combat this. It’s not just the annoyance, but it can be costly to those with limited mobile plans. If someone does this to you, you may want to send them this link:

Check out SocialToo to find out more.

Jan 19th 2010: UPDATE: Per Twitter’s Request, We’re Removing Auto Unfollow, however you can try Huitter, which I understand still works.

I’ve written a fair amount about Twitter, you may be interested in checking out these posts too.


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  • No worries. I'm happy to help. I'm glad you found the post useful.


  • Good to hear from you Jeremy. Great points. To your first point, I tend to
    appreciate a follow back from friends I'm following. I understand that the
    BBC, CBC, etc. may not follow back, but that's understandable.

    To your second point – hell yes! It's a very good thought. Twitter does
    unfollow folks from time to time. I thought about this too, but I don't
    think it happens too often. Even if it does, a friend's tweets will still
    appear in my time line, I just won't be able to DM them. Once I realize this
    I'll be sure to let them know, it's happened before and got corrected

    I'm going to give this a shot for a while. I really like the idea, because
    of the rising number of malicious Twitter profiles.

    Happy New Year.

  • Hmm, the problem with this is that say 2 months after we got to know each other I unfollow you, just cause that happens (I keep my list under 200 folk). Does that *automatically* mean you want to unfollow me?

    Ceding that much control of my social experience to an app just seems rife with potential issues.

    And nevermind when Twitter itself decides I'm no longer following someone and it's not even my choice that I unfollowed someone!

  • Thanks for the tip, Dave.

    I'm so dense that it wasn't until today that I found out that folks were sending a robot “Thanks for following me. Please visit my personal blog at…..” DM. I just thought it was a lame thing to DM a new follower and deleted it.

  • This assumes, of course, that you ALWAYS want to unfollow EVERYONE who unfollows you. Ceding that much control of my social experience to an app just seems rife with trouble to me.

    And that, of course, assumes that I INTENDED to unfollow you. And, given Twitter's recent issues of randomly unfollowing folk, that lack of intent is a very real possibility.

    I get why this is a good idea, I just think there are tonnes of ways for this to ruin your experience of Twitter.

  • Are you sure you want to unfollow everyone that unfollows you? If you do, then I'd ask, “why did you follow them in the first place?” There are a few people that have unfollowed me, but I follow them because I still value their insights and can @ them and enjoy conversations.

    Instead you might want to try to see who isn't following you back, and investigate from there. And friendorfollow is a correct app – there's no need for your password. If I remember correctly, Mr Tweet will do that as well, but friendorfollow is expedient.

    Then again, if you're following more than a couple of hundred people, manually unfollowing people just might not be worth your time, and auto-unfollow might be the best option.

  • Also, might I add a “hell yes!” to your advice of unfollowing those who auto-dm new followers. I've even blocked those annoying buggers.

  • I don’t see how whether or not someone follows you affects the level of interest in what they’re tweeting.

    I get follows fairly regularly but rarely follow back, unless they seem really interesting or it’s someone I know.

    If you’re that worried about who’s following you it might be advantageous to work on building some self esteem.

  • You guys are making too much out of this. Follow people whom you find interesting. If they don't follow you back it could be for any number of reasons.

    Not everyone chooses to interact on twitter; some prefer to interact on facebook instead.

  • plus one
    I added your blog to a bookmark!
    the post Excellent but your design no correctly displayed on my mozile and badly read . But I suppose that I have temporary problems with the Internet. please Write more. but I will try to build system and i will be happy to read more.

  • What about Tweeple who send personal DMs when people follow them, not auto-DMs. Is that okay, or is that annoying, too? When someone follows me, I look at their bio. If I'm interested, I follow back, and often send them a personal thank you with a note about why I followed them back. But I don't want this to be annoying.

  • If the reply or DM is not personal and “real” then it's lame on Twitter. Twitter is about the people, it's about direct “real” communication.

  • Paul Stanlii

    Auto DM's can be genuine. If someone follows you while away, I would like the auto response. I have no problem with automation as long as it is genuine. Many are not genuine perhaps. Sure it may feel less personal, but how personal can it be if you don't know the person anyway? We all of some built in auto responders anyway to different situations. How we greet people? And so on. I have no problem with it as long as they don't blast me with a sales link outright.

    Even a good link that leads to a useful product or service, I don't mind as long as I am interested. My interest can only be discovered by others via communication mostly. I don't like people misleading me to click on a link unrelated to the initial tweet. The tweet was unrelated to the link, that I have a problem with.

  • I too dislike auto-DM's when I follow someone, but not because of mobile plans and the like, but just because it seems kind of impersonal, which is ironic considering the opposite impact was probably intended.

    I do have problem with automatically unfollowing someone who unfollows you for no reason (not cos their DM annoyed you as you state above). That seems a bit childish, and makes me question the motivation for following someone in the first place. It seems a bit like the emphasis is still on the “push” of wanting someone to listen to you, rather than the “pull” of listening to conversations, which is part of the problem with alot of so called Twitter spruikers and social media experts in my opinion.

  • I know it's been ages since you commented, but I really like your sentiment about why you'd be following someone, and thanks for the link :)

  • Great two cents Mollybob! Thanks.

  • You're welcome!

  • I am wondering…. I am following over 700 but only have about 400 followers. Will this work to unfollow those 400? Also, can you still follow some that are not following you or do you not have that much control?

  • In theory it should work that way. However, SocialToo changed to a pay
    service a few months ago. I recommend hitting them up on Twitter with
    questions: They're great guys, so it's worth
    the few bucks to use the service.

    I use it now mainly to combat spammers. They tend to follow folks
    anticipating a follow back, this makes them appear to be legitimate. They
    then unfollow a bunch of people, so the ratio appears even more authentic.

    I hope that helps Michelle.


  • There is an application that runs in Excel that also unfollows followers. I signed up and it's currently free at

  • Thanks for sharing! Is there a trial version for users to try for a couple of days first?

    I have been using 2 separate Twitter tools all this while.
    Mutuality to unfollow those not following back, and SocialOomph for the rest.

  • This is dated post. I'm not sure if there's a trial.
    I haven't used socialOomph before. I'll give it a look.


  • Name

    you failed to mention it cost money – mega fail.

  • It was free when I originally wrote the post.

    Time FAIL. :)

  • I'll give it a try, thanks :)

  • Thanks guys. There's so much noise at the moment about Twitter out there, so it was great to stumble across your views at a time when we all seem to be a little perplexed about Social Media.

  • ComputerBooksOnline

    I'm surprised to see that so many people don't like auto-DMs. I do! People often give a link to something useful, or to their blog, or just say thanks I'd like to get to know you.

    What I DON'T like is when they send their automatic DM, and I respond back with a real message, and then they don't answer. It's so easy to automate everything about Twitter, but if you're not going to be there at all, why bother?

  • Auto DMs suck. They suck because the message is not coming from a human,
    they are coming from a machine. Do you ever reply to Out of Office emails?

    Please take my word, people do not appreciate automated direct messages.


  • Auto DMs suck. They suck because the message is not coming from a human,
    they are coming from a machine. Do you ever reply to Out of Office emails?

    Please take my word, people do not appreciate automated direct messages.


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  • tomretterbush

    When I come accross people with too many follows and not enough followers, I send people to this post. It's the best post on the subject I've found anywhere.

  • Thank you very much Tom. I really appreciate that.


  • mankoun

    i have built an app that gives you unfollow recommendations based on many criteria.

    i hope you find it useful

  • Thanks. I'll check it out.

  • will do that for you automatically. The goal with this service is to have you concentrate on tweeting instead of searching.

  • Interesting. Thanks.

  • unfollow the unfollowers automatically, it sounds good, thank you my friend…

  • With all of the auto add, follow and unfollow, I am not sure that twitter is as good as it could be.

  • I am trying to use it, I hope it resolve my problem

  • It is too difficult to use, I can't find what I want “automatically unfollow unfollowers”

  • dany1987r

    What i was looking for thanks i need to take out my followers that are not following me bac

  • An impossible service to use and who charges MONEY to use this service? :s

  • Thanks. This is something I experimented with back in the day, but the post in an older one.
    I’ve run into issues where followers drop off mysteriously, due to a glitch in Twitter.

    I don’t mind if people stop following me. Although, it does break my heart a little :)

  • twitfresh no longer works :(

  • Doesn’t seem to be working for me. Anyone know why?

  • palacios670

    this is great :D and also please follow me i followback and wil never unfollow lol palacios670

  • Pingback: On Unfollowing Because One Has Been Unfollowed | Beings Akin()

  • HIHI i swear i follow back! & i giva a shoutout for every new followers; @lilmama:twitter  !x

  • Vergil Rojas

    hai… pls follow. VergilU i alwas followback.. :D

  • @loading_Lavante


  • Momoneypns


  • Did you see the date of the post?

  • Is there anyway to get around twitter’s ban on auto unfollow. I don’t like having to go into an app every week to manually unfollow.

  • Unfortunately, both of them doesn’t work completely. 

    Did you have any way to unfollow unfollowers on twitter. 

    I will appreciate that from you or any reader for this post. 

    My email is:

  • That post was from January 2009. :) Unfortunately, services die and Twitter changes their API.
    However, try this:

  • i have no problem with auto DMs ‘thankyou for following’ and such. dont see what the big deal is. mind you that might change if i had hundreds of such messages each day, but i dont

  • Part of the argument against it, is that it is not personal. It’s automated, where Twitter should be authentic.
    Personally, I dislike auto DMs. But there are no rules, so to each his own.
    They tend to annoy me.

  • financialjerk

    Oh great. So this can be done. :D Thanks for sharing! :)