I’m constantly looking for new and interesting people to follow on Twitter. Most of the time I find people to follow via Twitter search. I search for a topic I’m interested in, which can be anything from astronomy to The Watchmen movie and then follow the people that are actively tweeting about the subjects.
It doesn’t happen very often but every now and then someone well send me a message asking “How did you find me?” which is an understandable question but sometimes I’ll get a message like “Why the hell are you following me!” as if I just broke into their house and they caught me in their living room.
If you’ve found yourself surprised at times to find people following you, didn’t know how they found you or were annoyed by someone following you without permission, don’t feel silly, you’re actually in good company. It turns out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was just as shocked to find @JohnMcCrea following his ‘secret’ Twitter account recently, posting in response:
According to VentureBeat:
Plaxo’s John McCrea stumbled upon Zuckerberg’s account when he was searching for a past Twitter conversation with another Facebook employee
Twitter is an open social system and one of the original design elements was to allow people to follow the people they were interested in. This is why you don’t have to send a friend request you simply follow the person. This simple difference in Twitter’s design is a big factor in it’s success. You have to admit being able to follow Dave Matthews, MC Hammer or Shaquille O’Neal is pretty freakin’ cool.
For not so obvious reasons people also like to follow Twitterers who, though not famous, have similar interests i.e. other Corvette owners or Rugby fans.
There are plenty of good reasons why you would want to keep your tweets off of the public timeline. If you don’t want random people following you, you should set your Twitter account to private.
Twitter makes this very easy to do. Simply go to the settings page on your Twitter account, check the box at the bottom of the page and save your changes.
Don’t worry, your friends will still be able to find your Twitter account, you’ll just have to grant them permission to view it. Doing this will completely eliminate any unwanted Twitter followers.