When you’ve been on Twitter for some amount of time, the number of people you follow can quickly mount up.

This is especially true if you subscribed to the etiquette of returning the favor to everybody who follows you when building up your social network.

There’s certainly no problem in following several thousand people if that’s what works for you, but if you’re anything like this writer, you’ll probably find a smaller number much more manageable. It may be that, in following every tweeter in existence, your stream has been clogged with all manner of tweets which, whilst interesting in their own right, don’t add as much value to your Twitter stream as you’d like

It could even be that some of those irrelevant tweets come from people you only followed as a courtesy and who no longer follow you anyway, or it could just be that you like to keep on top of these things. Whatever your reasons for wanting to manage your following/follower ratio on Twitter, here’s three simple tools to do the job quickly and simply.

Friend or Follow

Friend or Follow is a nifty little website which breaks your followers down into three simple categories:

  • Following: Those you follow who don’t reciprocate.
  • Fans: Those who follow you, yet you aren’t following them.
  • Friends: Those with whom you share a mutual following/follower relationship

There are a couple of tools floating around on the Internet which provide a similar function, but where Friend or Follow’s beauty lies is in its utter simplicity. Head to the website (www.friendorfollow.com) and in the nice friendly box on the homepage, type in your Twitter username and submit. From there, the site displays the avatars of any users you follow but, for whatever reason, don’t follow you back in a handy grid.

Where it lets you down is in the inability to unfollow people direct from the site, but if you do want to unfollow someone, it’s as simple as clicking on their avatar to load their profile to handle unfollowing via Twitter. Hit the fans tab, and you’ll be presented with those folks you’re not following back. There might be a good reason for this, but if you lost track of who to follow back, this tab comes in pretty handy. As for the friends tab, I’ve yet to find much of a use for this yet, though I’m sure there must be one.

Qwitter

If you’d rather not have to remember to visit a website to manage your Twitter followers, Qwitter, one of the longest-serving and arguably most popular services of its type, rounds up a list of who stops following you and e-mails said list to you once a week. Again, the website (http://beta.useqwitter.com) is incredibly simple to use:

Submit your username on the homepage and you’ll be asked to hook up Qwitter to your Twitter account. Once that’s done, enter and verify your e-mail address and each week you’ll be given a list of everyone who’s abandoned ship in the past seven days.

This is a few more steps than the first site we looked at, but once you’ve completed these steps you never need visit the site again, just wait for that weekly e-mail.

Untweeps

Again, there are a number of services out there which do a similar task to Untweeps, but since we like things easy and simple, this one gets the nod.

The idea behind Untweeps is very straightforward; seek out any inactive accounts you’re following on Twitter and learn how long they’ve been inactive for. Head to the site (http://untweeps.com) and authorize the site to access your Twitter account. Next, simply enter how many days back you’d like to search for inactive accounts. You’ll be presented with a list of those inactive users, along with the last date they tweeted.

Where Untweeps triumphs over other services is that you can take care of any unfollowing you’d like to do from right there in the site. Useful,right? After all, who wants to be following someone who never tweets?

Conclusion

These three tools should be everything you need to keep tabs of your Twitter followers, though it would be great to hear some of your suggestions for alternatives below.

(Photo credit: Black keyboard with blue Follow Me button via Shutterstock)

Love this article?