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Inactive Twitter Accounts: How To Find and Remove Them?

Arnel Bagyaratnam

Jun 11, 2024 11 mins read
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Do you remember the last time you logged into a Myspace or Orkut account? These platforms were popular and thriving during the early 2000s. However, users jumped ship with the introduction of other social media networks. Twitter has 368 million users who are active every month. With the introduction of Threads, users may do the same. Also, Elon Musk, the current owner of X, claims there are 1.5 billion inactive Twitter accounts. As this seems high, you go through your profile to see if you can identify any inactive followers. However, you don’t know what signs to look for to remove them from your profile. You definitely don’t want to accidentally unfollow active users, as this will further impact your engagement.

Fortunately, there are ways to identify inactive accounts, but you must use social media management services. They will scan your profile and highlight which ones are inactive. This guide walks you through the entire process so your follower and the following count shows only active users.

What Is the Twitter Inactive Account Policy?

There is a Twitter inactive account policy. However, the criteria for what the social media network considers inactive is different. It is not the lack of activity for extended periods. Instead, the platform takes a different approach. It looks at the last time you logged into your account.As per the old policy, you only needed to do this once every six months. It seems fair, as there is sufficient time to keep your account active. However, the platform no longer follows this policy. The platform made this change one month before Elon Musk’s announcement about inactive accounts.

Currently, the social media network considers you active if you log in once in 30 days. This is quite a jump from the previous policy. Perhaps this aims to ensure only active users remain on the platform.

But again, active is quite loose according to Twitter’s definition, as you only need to log in to your profile. It should be okay even if you don’t engage with a post.

Does Twitter Delete Inactive Accounts?

Let’s get to the bottom of whether Twitter deletes inactive accounts. Elon Musk did announce X or Twitter’s plans to delete inactive Twitter accounts from the platform. He also warned people that they may experience a drop in their follower count. The reason for doing so was due to these users being inactive for several years. This also aligns with the owner’s plans of finding a solution to freeing up Twitter handles.

However, several users were unhappy with this decision. They stated that these inactive profiles can belong to dead people, especially former celebrities. Similarly, users visit certain inactive users occasionally because they belong to a dead family member.

After the backlash from the Twitterverse, Elon Musk reversed his decision. Now, he wants to go the archived accounts route. In other words, the social media network plans to hide these users from others on the platform.

There can be several other reasons why people no longer use their profiles:

  • They forgot their password or username
  • They don’t want to be on Twitter anymore
  • They are taking a break from all social media platforms or only X or Twitter
  • They no longer have access to the original email address they used for the account

However, this was during the one log-in every six months inactive policy. With the recent change, it isn’t clear whether the platform will actually delete users.

Twitter Deleting Inactive Accounts: Will It Ever Happen?

It’s not clear whether the platform will go ahead and delete inactive Twitter accounts. Sure, Elon Musk tweeted that X, aka Twitter, won’t delete these accounts. However, this can change any day, and Twitter deleting inactive accounts may become a reality. Even if 1.5 billion users aren’t doing anything, there are still a lot of usernames that remain unavailable.

X, formerly Twitter, will tackle this issue once it becomes a significant problem. It’s not whether the platform will do this but when it no longer wants to deal with inactive users.

What Is the Problem With Inactive Twitter Accounts?

What is the problem if inactive Twitter accounts don’t do anything? Well, here are a few issues you’ll face in the long run with these types of accounts:

  • It affects your credibility over time: Let’s say you get many followers. You use a Twitter bot checker to ensure your followers are real and active. However, there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of followers to engagement. This can happen because inactive users won’t engage with your account.
  • It impacts your following-to-follower ratio: Are you aware that you can follow up to 5,000 users? Does this mean you can’t cross this threshold? Yes, the platform prevents you from following more accounts. But wait, you see users whose following count is in the tens of thousands. Well, this is because of their following-to-follower ratio. Twitter wants you to get more followers before allowing you to follow more people. If you follow accounts that become inactive, it skews the ratio. You’ll have to find these users and remove them from your following list. 
  • It reduces the size of the username pool: Sure, there are many usernames you can choose from when creating your account. However, once an account acquires a username, it is theirs forever. They will keep it until they deactivate and delete their account permanently. Inactive users, keep them forever. This can change if the platform decides to archive or remove them. Until then, the usernames of inactive users are in a black hole, i.e., they may never resurface.

How Do You Identify Twitter Inactive Accounts?

Is there a way to know if a profile belongs to the Twitter inactive account category? You can’t tell for sure whether a person doesn’t use their account. Why?

  • For starters, the account can belong to a lurker. They are users who use the social media network and read the content. However, they never engage with any post, i.e., leave likes, post a reply or retweet (now repost) the content. They also won’t post anything on their profile. If you were to look at such an account, it looks like the user is inactive. However, this is far from the truth. 
  • Also, only some people are comfortable with publishing posts from their accounts. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 80% of the tweets (now posts) come from 10% of the users. This just proves the previous statement. In this instance, the user will engage with the posts, i.e., leave likes or bookmark their favorite tweets. However, they may never post anything.

It’s clear you can’t use lack of activity as the yardstick for identifying inactive accounts. However, one solution is to send a direct message (DM) to this person. If they are active, they will respond. They can also choose not to respond despite being a frequent user. This means you’ll still assume they are inactive.

How To Find Inactive Twitter Accounts?

Okay, if you cannot use activity as the standard, is there a way to find these users? Yes, you’ll need to use social media management tools to look for inactive accounts. Here’s how to find inactive Twitter accounts.

Look For Inactive users With Circleboom

Circleboom is a powerful Twitter management tool. It has a feature where it looks for inactive users. You can also look for fake followers and spam accounts with this feature. But, for this section, the focus is on inactive Twitter accounts.

  1. You need to create an account on Circleboom. The Twitter management tool will ask for your information.
  2. You have to connect your Twitter account to this tool. If you have multiple accounts, ensure this service has access to the right profile.
  3. There’s an icon with two concentric circles or a circle within another circle. When you hover your mouse pointer over it, a menu pops out. 
  4. The menu has the title – Friends. In this menu, there’s the option Inactive Friends. If you click this, it will take you to the Inactive Friends list. 
  5. You’ll find all the inactive users in your friends list. The last column shows whether the user has low, medium, or high engagement. Generally, low engagement comes under inactive users.
  6. Similarly, you can tap the icon that resembles a snowflake. It has five circles. This is the people you follow.
  7. Hover your mouse icon and select Inactive Followers from the popup menu.

Remember, the information you see is just sample data. You have to subscribe to see your actual list. If you come across Inactive Followers, there’s a red icon next to them. Selecting it removes the user from your follower list. Or, you can select all the checkboxes and then click the Remove Followers button. This will remove a large number of accounts. However, Circleboom doesn’t allow you to unfollow friends from the dashboard. But you can export this data.

Audiense Also Helps Find Inactive Users

If you want to look for an inactive Twitter account, you can also use Audiense. It has a free tier that allows you to find and remove such users. This guide explains how to do this with your account:

  1. You need to create an account on Audiense and connect your Twitter profile to it.
  2. Once you’re in the dashboard, select your Twitter account. 
  3. On the Twitter dashboard, you’ll see Inactive People You Follow. Click the number on this card.
  4. You’ll see a list of all the users you follow who are inactive. You’ll see the Unfollow button when you hover the mouse over the account card. Click the Unfollow button. A tick mark will appear, indicating you no longer follow the account.
  5. Go back to the previous dashboard and select Inactive Followers.
  6. Again, click the Unfollow button after you hover over the account card.

Do this as many times as you want to unfollow inactive users. However, if you unfollow several accounts quickly, the platform may ask you to verify your profile. This is because the social media network suspects you’re a bot.

How to Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts?

You can use Audiense to unfollow inactive Twitter accounts. If you don’t want to use a tool, there are two ways to remove them from your profile.

Unfollowing Inactive Accounts: Your Followers

  1. Go to the profile of the inactive account.
  2. There’s a three-dot icon on the profile. Click it and select Block.
  3. On the popup that appears, click Block
  4. Select the three-dot icon and pick Unblock
  5. Choose Unblock from the popup.

This is a soft block. The user is no longer your Twitter follower because of the quick block and unblock action.

Unfollowing a Twitter Inactive Account: Your Following

  1. Open the inactive user’s profile and tap the Following button. This is for X, formerly Twitter, for mobile. Select Unfollow from the popup.
  2. If you’re on X for the web, select the Unfollow icon and click Unfollow.

These methods make it easy to remove any inactive accounts. However, if there are several profiles, you’ll have to use the previous method, i.e., with a tool.

Decoding Inactive Accounts on X: The Final Verdict

If you want to clear your Twitter house, i.e., inactive Twitter users, use the above guides. It will help you identify and remove such accounts from your profile. After you complete this step, you’ll now have active followers. Also, make sure that the account is active before you follow them.

You must get X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue) to use all of Twitter’s features. However, if your posts go against the platform’s rules, you’ll lose access to the subscription. The best way to prevent this is to delete rule-violating posts. Unfortunately, the only option is to do this manually. What if there is a post that’s over five years old? You can’t keep scrolling through your timeline till you find this tweet. Instead, you can use TweetDelete. It has a filter to help you look for any tweet. You can also remove thousands of tweets within a matter of minutes. Also, you can use the auto-delete feature to remove specific posts before they become a problem. Keep your profile X Premium friendly by using TweetDelete today!

Arnel Bagyaratnam

Arnel Bagyaratnam is an SEO writer for TweetDelete who is avidly interested in covering tech. Previously, he was a digital strategist for Holystoked, helping the company switch from an offline model to a hybrid store with a strong online presence. He also worked as a copywriter and SEO consultant for VERB Studio. An industrial engineering & management graduate, he spends his free time breaking and digging for music to dance to.

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