Twit Cleaner: Made in NZ, seriously useful

Not every person you follow on Twitter is worth your attention. Some flakes are easy to spot: the egg-shaped avatar; the auto-bot reply when you follow someone, the dodgy spam-like tweets.

The trouble is, once your follow list grows beyond a few hundred, sorting the wheat from chaff becomes harder. Twit Cleaner is a New Zealand-developed application which automates the process.

Using the service is as simple as opening the web site and entering your Twitter address. A few minutes later you’ll get a Twitter direct message with a link to a page showing people you might want to unfollow.

Clearing out the junk

When I first tried Twit Cleaner I was following more than 1000 Twitter accounts. A message at the top of the Twit Cleaner screen told me I around 170 of those accounts were potentially garbage. I didn’t agree with all the named individuals, but quickly culled the 30 or so most annoying accounts. More will follow.

Twit Cleaner divides the potentially bad accounts into seven categories:

Potentially dodgy behaviour are accounts which mainly post links. You might want to keep some of these if they are news feeds, but individual accounts like this are often worth unfollowing.

Posting the same tweet too many times.

App spam means messages mainly come from those annoying services like 4square which tell you someone is now mayor of simpleton.

Other dodgy behaviour, now absent applies to accounts where people have been a bit silly but have stopped tweeting.

No activity in over a month is self-explanatory. In some cases these are people just taking a breather. I deleted anyone who hadn’t tweeted for 90 days.

Not much interaction is when people just pump out a feed and don’t chat or otherwise engage. Often robots run these accounts.

Hardly follows anyone is people who follow back fewer than 10% of the people following them. In other words, they not very giving with their Twitter activity.

All talk, all the time are accounts which are possibly too noisy.

Little original content applies to people who mainly retweet others.

Not so interesting are self-obsessed Twitter users who mainly tweet about themselves.

Relatively unpopular applies to Twitter users who hardly anyone follows back. I suspect some of these are just not trying hard.  

I’d like to see something similar to Twit Cleaner for Linkedin and Facebook. Any suggestions?

7 thoughts on “Twit Cleaner: Made in NZ, seriously useful

  1. It’s not bad, but it really doesn’t do what I need. I don’t care about users who rarely tweet; I care about culling ones whose tweets I almost never favourite, to whom I never reply, and whose links I rarely follow. So another dimension of “you’ve replied to, favourited, or RTed fewer than 1/50 of their updates and they tweet at least once a day” would help me out tons.

    Can’t complain about a free service though!

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    • Hi Eric

      Unfortunately, reliable historical data is not something Twitter does well. Often it can be tricky to even get the last 200 tweets, let alone the potentially tens of thousands necessary to reliably tell who you’ve interacted with or not.

      “People I’ve never interacted with” would be an incredibly useful feature – but the only way you’d be able to do that would be to, essentially, duplicate Twitter’s entire historical database, for every user, for all time. It can’t be done through the API.

      It is something I get asked about semi-regularly, but unfortunately there’s just no way to practically do it.

      Si Dawson
      [Twit Cleaner Creator]

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  2. I used it this morning, how is that for conincidence. What I’d like though is to make all those spurious followers dissapear without having to block them

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      • :-) clearly they’re not following because I have something to say (which I guess you could measure in the number of RT’s or replies), which leads me to think they actually arn’t that good at twitter.

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  3. Pingback: Twit Cleaner closes: we lose | Bill Bennett

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