Back in the day (circa. 2009) mass-following other users on Twitter was an established and relatively painless way to gain lots of followers yourself. Many folks were strong believers in reciprocal following, and would often follow back (literally) anybody who followed them.
Indeed, this practice was often automated. And once this pattern became well-known, lots of folks used to exploit it.
Still, for large brands and the biggest celebrities, this kind of behaviour is far from necessary. Usually, all these kinds of users need to do is simply show up on a social network and the masses immediately come knocking on their doors. And, on Twitter, circa 2013, that’s very much the way it is. So it’s worth nothing that everybody in the list below has been using everybody’s favourite micro-blogging social network for a long time.
Here’s your top 10 – note that @HootSuite is the only profile that follows more than a million users. Their timeline must be all kinds of crazy.
1. HootSuite (@hootsuite, 1,116,247 following)
2. Yoko Ono (@yokoono, 941,362)
3. Lonely Planet (@lonelyplanet, 710,439)
4. Threadless (@threadless, 695,167)
5. Barack Obama (@barackobama, 665,917)
6. Whole Foods Market (@wholefoods, 551,630)
7. The Beatles (@thebeatles, 417,855)
8. Britney Spears (@britneyspears, 411,252)
9. Liverpool FC (@LFC, 409,093)
10. UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov, 373,876)
It’s also worth noting that since our last update, Obama, Whole Foods and Britney have all reduced the amount of people that they follow, while HootSuite, Yoko and Lonely Planet have started following a heck of a lot more.