Follow Limits on Twitter

Twitter has imposed reasonable limits to help prevent system and user abuse.

Why Can’t I can’t Follow More People on Twitter?


If you hit a technical limit, Twitter will tell you by showing an error message in your browser when you try to perform an action. If you’ve hit a limit, it means you’ve exceeded one of these limits:
• 1,000 updates per day
• 250 direct messages per day
• 150 API requests per hour
• Follow limit
You can find Update and API Limits here.

What are the follow limits?

Twitter doesn’t limit the number of people who can follow you, but they have put limits on how aggressively users can follow others. Every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following. Click Here for the Follow Limits and Best Practices help page for more information on Twitter’s follow limits and recommended practices. Follow limits cannot be lifted by Twitter and everyone is subject to follow limits, even high profile and API accounts.

But I’m white listed!

Some API administrators have whitelist status so their applications can function without hitting system limits for direct messages, etc. White listed means that an application can have more API requests per hour; it does not increase the follow limits. All whitelisted accounts are still subject to follow limits.

If I hit a limit, what should I do?

1. If you’ve reached a daily limit, wait 24 hours (or one hour for API requests) and you’ll be able to perform the action again.

2. If you’ve reached a follow limit, you’ll need to wait until you have more followers before you can follow additional users. Follow limits are systematic. Support cannot remove follow limits.

Hitting a follow limit does not mean you’re a spammer. Twitter has these limits to help improve site performance and reliability which helps make Twitter a nice place for everyone.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to list them below in the comment section. Don’t forget to leave your Twitter username so myself and others can follow you. Thanks for your time and let me know how I can help you with your Twitter experience.

Watching out for you, one tweet at a time -TwitterWatchDog

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5 Responses to “Follow Limits on Twitter”

  • avatar skip b says:

    didn’t I read something a few months back, about a newer twitter approved interface that replaces API? something like OTA or OFA? I think the latest tweetdeck beta has it. will this bypass API limits?

    any idea on just what the “grading” system is to get past the 2000 rule?

  • avatar Allison Rizk says:

    I hit my follow limit about 2 months ago. I wish I had this article before then b/c I started to get unfollowed since I wasn’t following back. I went to and started unfollowing people that weren’t following me back.

    I have to say, unfollowing people was kinda fun! Cut out the fat.

    Thanks for your article!

  • avatar skip says:

    I agree, Allison, I had the same problem, and hated unfollowing some people and and news feeds, but after about 2 months I was able to move past 2000.

    As I understand it, the formula to beyond 2000 is based on followback AND interactions.

    Someone told me that if I avoid 3rd apps like tweetdeck I had a better chance to break the 2000 rule as I would use less API calls. Somehow I never fully bought into that theory..unless someone can offer proof that API “load” does matter

    take care!!

  • avatar Al Ferretti says:

    Hi Skip~

    Thanks for the comment.

    It’s our understanding that the 2,000 limit was setup to control aggressive following and reduce spam.
    It’s believed that once you reach 2,000 following,
    you can not exceed that until you have 2,000 people following you back.

    Going beyond 2,000, Twitter allows for 10% more following than followers.
    Example 2,500 followers 2750 following.

    We have not seen any information stating limitations had to with third party tools or apps.
    It’s all controlled on Twitter side from what we understand.

    Just remember its not about the quantity of followers but rather the quality of followers
    that makes the difference.

    Hope that helps you.


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