Twitter Friends, Followers, Ratios

This will prove I am not a statistician.. but I was mildly wondering today about patterns among people who twitter, as I glanced at my friends, as well as random people on the public timeline and the number of friends and followers on their pages. It seems there might be some behavior patterns there. Some generalizations:

  • A lot of people in my circle have similar ratios of friends to followers, people perhaps shy? more selective, with ratios about 0.4-0.6.
  • There are some more or less companies, entities using this solely to push content out; they have maybe one friend (so they are not really following others) and a few hundred followers, ratios < 0.2
  • Others have rather high ratios of friends to followers, > 1.0, even as high as 2.0 — these might be the uber socialites, the ones who seek to have as much as possible from other. Social Seekers?

This was hardly a scientific process or sample, just an experiment in curiosity — what would be cool is to have someone who knows how to dabble in the API to go in and pull out piles of data like this and plot it. Or maybe it means nothing.

Anyhow, my data looked like:


and for reference, the data points are from:

And not knowing much, toying around in Excel, I made a graph….


Does it mean anything? I dunno, but what’s in your ratio?

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Interesting data analysis Alan … with a greater data pool who knows what could be correlated.

    I’m not very active with Twitter but I’m at 1.16.

  2. The other day I was talking Twitter with K, and uttered the phrase “I have more followers than friends.” She just started laughing, imagining how that sounded outside the Twitter context.

    More “followers” than “friends”… an OK thumbnail description of a cult leader?

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