As I’m writing this, local really-wants-to-be-a-media-starlet Abigail Ogle has 14,450 Twitter followers. Yep, you read that right: fourteen thousand, four hundred and fifty. That ranks her 9th in Oklahoma City and is a lot of followers for a relatively inexperienced sports reporter on a fledgling UHF channel. To put the number in perspective, compare Abigail’s count to these other local media personalities:
• Emily Sutton: 9,650 followers
• Kelly Ogle: 6,332 followers
• Dean Blevins: 10,809 followers
• Bob Barry Jr: 9,393 followers
Without a doubt, all of those individuals have higher profile jobs and better name recognition than Abigail, yet somehow she has more followers than all of them. How can that be? Are Abigail’s tweets extra-funny, super entertaining or more enlightening than the others? Does she follow everyone that follows her? Does she pretend to be BeeBee Jonez and post very very very provocative photos throughout the day?
No, she doesn’t do any of those things (unless you consider drinking Edna’s Lunchboxes with Mike Morgan’s bionic storm chaser to be provocative). It appears Abigail has taken an easier path to Twitter stardom. It looks like she paid for her followers. How else can you explain the unusual growth of her follower count over the past six months. Just check out this graph:
(via Twitter Counter)
If you don’t use Twitter, and words like “hashtag,” “re-tweet” and “Dan Gordon” don’t mean anything to you, let me just say that sudden spikes (and drops) in followers is not normal. Typically, follower growth is steady and takes a while to achieve. It generally looks more like this:
That’s the follower trend for our Twitter account. It’s taken us over four years to achieve 15,000 followers. We don’t have any crazy jumps, spikes, or falls. It’s just a steady, even line.
Of course, our Twitter account is centered around a website, not a person. Lets’s compare Abigail’s with two-time Ogle Madness champion Emily Sutton:
Emily’s chart is the dark blue line. Once again, notice how it’s slow and steady and doesn’t jump around? That’s because Emily has probably never purchased thousands of fake followers in an effort to impress Reed Timmer.
Yes, that’s something you can do. If you’re really insecure and/or want to look more influential and important than you actually are, you can buy fake Twitter followers. They’re not very expensive. From what I found, they can run as low as $5 per thousand. That’s not as cheap as lying on your Linked In resume, but there are probably worse ways to misrepresent your popularity and influence. Granted, I can’t think of any right now, but I’m sure they exist.
In addition to the graph, there are some Twitter applications that identify a user’s fake followers. I ran the Twitter accounts of Abigail, Emily and TLO through a couple of these apps. This is what I found:
So we’ve learned two things:
1. Abigail Ogle has had an unusual growth and decline in her Twitter account
2. Abigail Ogle has an extremely high rate of Fake followers
Based on those facts, you would think Abigail either bought fake followers to make herself look relevant, cool and influential, or, well, I don’t have any other explanation. Why else would fake Twitter followers randomly appear? I guess she could have been hacked or the target of a random spammer. That’s probably what I would claim if I was her. Buying Twitter followers is the social media equivalent of lying about your age or income, except everyone doesn’t do it and you look even sillier when you get caught.
Anyway, since I’ve spent way too much time analyzing someone’s fake Twitter followers, I guess I should tie this post up. If you’re real or fake and want to follow us on Twitter, do it here.
Also, if any Moles want to investigate the follower count other local celebs, use the services I linked to above. We can out them in the comments.