Twitter is Follower Central So Follower Issues Really StingThe most important feature on Twitter is followers. People's followers/following relationships is what makes the website's simple service work. Despite hot competitors like Plurk and FriendFeed, Twitter is still follower central. They are by far the leading microblogging site and many up-and-coming microblogging services and social networks let you import your Twitter friends. New services pretty much have to use Twitter in this way because Twitter's community is already so large and so active. As more services launch in the future they will also try and get their users to import their Twitter friends. This will help to make Twitter a bigger and bigger player in the social networking world. They are quickly becoming a major friend source like Facebook and Gmail.
Recently, Twitter started curbing the number of followers people could have so they could attempt to reduce spam. However, these following limits unfairly impact some Twitter users. You can read more about this follower limit here on ReadWriteWeb.
Twitter's lost follower problems this week may be related to the following limit they recently imposed. Twitter has recovered some of the lost follower data but many users are still missing as many as 10% to 50% of their followers.
Apparently, they are still working on the issue today. They really need to solve it because it is this community that makes Twitter what it is. If the cruicial relationships in this community are disrupted it makes things very complicated for everyone.
Ironically, on the same day that the massive Twitter follower disruption occurred Twitter's Ev was blogging about a new service called TwitterCounter that offers follower stats. Twitter knows how important followers are and as you can see by Ev's tweet below they are still trying to solve this latest crisis.
Posted on July 24, 2008