The mystery of Lady Gaga’s and Justin Bieber’s unfollowers

The following interactive chart monitors the followers of @justinbieber, @ladygaga and @MDNA every 5 minutes


  • Moving the mouse over the graph you can see the date and the legends values.
  • Zoom: press the left mouse button and drag.
  • Reset zoom: double click

Thanks to a suggestion by Alberto Rodriguez (aka @almirot), I’m monitoring the growth of @MDNA’s followers. He is a founding partner of Smetrica, a great free tool that measures Facebook pages (6,000 so far). We were contacted by Montse Fernandez (aka @monsefc),a PhD student like me and fan of the Smetrica app.

Alberto suggested that I follow the evolution of recent Madonna’s twitter account thinking it could have a huge growth similar to @Murdoch’s account. In order to have a reference with other celebrities on Twitter I’m also monitoring @justinbieber and @ladygaga. The result was very disappointing; the growth of Madonna’s account has not been spectacular and is far from top users of Twitter.

This morning Alberto sent me an email noting the unusual follower’s fluctuations of @ladygaga and @justinbieber since April 3. I do not know what could have happened: fans are crazy or a bot is removing followers or Twitter API does not work properly.

The following image shows the zoom of a fluctuations area and as you can see the unfollowers appear exactly every hour, in the case of @ladygaga at half-past and in @justinbieber five to.

What do you think is happening?

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4 Responses

  1. Pues no lo he probado con gente que no es celebrity. ¿te prestarías a ser monitorizada?

  2. adavideo says:

    Hay mucha gente, yo incluida, que se queja de que su cuenta de Twitter “unfollowea” automáticamente a gente bastante a menudo. ¿Puede ser eso?

  3. Si, lo de la limpieza de spam es la opción más votada. Precisamente @almirot encontró un post en el blog de Twittter del 5 de abril que hablaba de sus esfuerzos para eliminar el spam

    El que sea tan periódico huele a cron. Es curioso como se puede monitorizar indirectamente las rutinas de mantenimiento de Twitter

  4. loretahur says:

    Yo apuesto por el bot limpia spam. Curioso…

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