Today as I was checking a Twitter follower account, the recommended to follow also met me with a “padlock” on the name suggestions. The tweets are protected. Now how do you add followers or interact with this person? Better I follow Cortana and chat with her about numbers and life on Pluto.
People protect their accounts for several reasons: being private you want to protect yourself from the trolls and bots that become nuisance and sometimes malicious. According to Phil Shapiro, “Every person who follows me is someone I have accepted as a follower. By and large, these tend to be quite thoughtful people working as librarians, educators, journalists, free and open-source software advocates and nonprofit change-makers.”
What really will you be missing by protecting tweets?
- People will have to request to follow you; each follow request will need approval.
- Your Tweets will only be visible to users you’ve approved.
- Others (followers) will not be able to retweet or quote your Tweets. Copy-paste would work for all tweets.
- Protected Tweets will not appear in Google search; protected Tweets will only be searchable on Twitter by the account holder and approved followers.
- @Replies you send to people who aren’t following you will not be seen by those users (because you have not given them permission to see your Tweets). Now that is just being antisocial or “e-gossip”.
- You cannot share permanent links to your Tweets with anyone other than your approved followers. Now all links and #hashtags are invalidated and useless outside your approved account and followers.
This actually feels like a cocoon lifestyle on Twitter. However, “Twitter isn’t Facebook. Facebook is for your friends. Twitter is for the friends you don’t know yet,” Lee Aase.
The best you can do on Twitter is have a group of followers you actively or informatively interact with like Pages on Facebook. NEVER compare friends on Facebook, with followers on Twitter. There is only interactive short bursts of information between your followers and you, like birds in a park. Keep it short, keep it informative. And have fun while you do it.
If you want to control who sees your updates, you may choose to protect your Tweets. You can always change your mind and make them public later.