Celebs lose Twitter followers; quality of influencer engagement will improve, say experts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan lost 3 lakh, 4 lakh, and 3.6 lakh Twitter followers, respectively

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 17, 2018 9:00 AM

High-profile celebrities in India lost lakhs of followers in the wake of the purge that Twitter initiated last week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lost around 3 lakh followers in the first 24 hours since the crackdown. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan lost over 4 lakh followers, Shah Rukh Khan's following dropped by over 3.6 lakh and Salman Khan lost 3.4 followers. 
However, the loss of followers is not all bad news for influencers, say social media experts. It only encourages better engagement and authentic conversations now that the locked accounts have been removed from the followers list.

Twitter’s own primary account lost 7.75 million locked accounts, registering a drop of around 12% from 62.85 million to 55.1 million. According to international reports, data by Keyhole Analytics showed that the 100 most followed Twitter accounts saw an average drop in followers of 2% because of the cleanse.

Sanjay Vasudeva, CEO, Buzzone (influencer marketing agency), said he has noticed a 10-15% drop in the followers of influencers he works with. The number of followers an influencer has is often the first metric that brands consider when signing on the influencer for a campaign. “It is too early to say what the ramifications of the purge will be on the earnings of the influencers, but overall this is good for our business,” he said.

A drop in followers will naturally result in a decline in reach, but not necessarily a decline in the quality of engagement. “In fact, engagement will improve because now influencers are left with genuine followers,” Vasudeva noted.

Pranay Swarup, Co-founder and CEO, Chtrbox, another influencer marketing agency, notes that since the drop in followers has been universal, the rates of influencers may not be affected. “As long as the quality remains the same, the rates and remuneration should not be affected,” he said.

The micro-blogging site is attempting to sanitise the platform to “make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation,” said Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, Twitter, announcing the initiative. She had notified users of a possible drop in followers saying, “Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop.”

Shrenik Gandhi, CEO and co-founder, White Rivers Media, said this was a much-needed course correction that will elevate influencer marketing resulting in authentic engagement on the platform.

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