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Updated 6 Sep 2023

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Why Can't I See Someone Else's Followers On Twitter?

So, Twitter (now X) made some changes, hiding most follower lists. They've dialed back on how many followers you can see on someone's profile and altered how third-party apps access this data. Rumors suggest it's a play against competitors, like Threads. Here's a closer look:

Shortened Follower Lists

When you look at someone's followers now, you're seeing roughly their latest 30. They're displayed in reverse order, with the newest at the top. They might increase this number in the future, but for now, that's the limit.

Third-party Apps' Dilemma

Apps used to connect to Twitter via their API for a variety of features, including checking out followers. Twitter decided to pull that plug. Some apps adapted swiftly, but others weren't so lucky. If any app promises to show all follower info now, be cautious; it could be too good to be true. Only some apps with access to some of Twitter's older API's still have access to this info.

The Reason Behind the Shift?

Twitter was a tad cryptic about it. Some say it's about cutting server costs, while others speculate it's to combat the rise of the Threads platform. It's interesting to note that the timing of this change coincided with Threads' launch. With these new limits, making a switch from Twitter to Threads becomes a more daunting task.

Future of Follower Visibility?

Considering other platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn are more open with such data, there's a chance Twitter might revert or tweak their current approach. Advertisers love insights, and right now, Twitter isn't providing as much depth. Their next steps could depend on broader strategies, potentially transitioning from advertisers to subscribers, but we'll have to wait and see.

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