Starting next month, Twitter will make a clean sweep of inactive accounts by deactivating them in a move to “present more accurate, credible information” by uncluttering the platform, the social media giant announced this week.
Accounts subject to deactivation will have had to be dormant for at least six months. Despite the fact that Twitter already has policies set in place regarding inactive accounts, the social media network is just now deciding to enforce those rules.
Under the newest missive, Twitter will be sending out emails to owners of inactive accounts to warn them of their impending deactivation, with the email's subject line reading “Don't lose access to @(username).”
Twitter’s widespread account purge is expected to affect account metrics, such as follower counts and other user-related analytics. One of the central goals of the initiative is to encourage Twitter users to increase their usage and engagement of the social media network, according to a Media Post report.
A second major objective of the account purge is to allow users and marketers to grab Twitter handles that had been previously in use.
“Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log in and use Twitter when they register an account,” according to the company.
The San Francisco-based tech company has already begun sending the emails to users with inactive Twitter accounts. The emails warn the user that their account may be permanently removed following prolonged periods of inactivity.
Critics of Twitter’s account purging policy warn of erasing the digital memories and legacies of those deceased Twitter accounts, which would permanently delete their accounts and all of the pictures, posts and videos. To address those concerns, the social media company has delayed the inactive account purge at the moment as it looks to find a way to preserve those memorial accounts of deceased Twitter users, with the account purge set to “impact accounts in the EU only, for now.”
“We do not currently have a way to memorialize someone’s Twitter account once they have passed on, but the team is thinking about ways to do this,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge.
“Just because someone’s pulse no longer beats doesn’t mean their thoughts no longer matter,” Drew Olanoff, vice president, communications at Scaleworks, writes in TechCrunch.
Much of the move stems from Twitter’s disappointing third-quarter earnings results, with net income coming in at $37 million compared to $789 million this same time last year, representing a net margin of 104 percent, which is the percentage of revenue left over after all expenses have been deducted from sales, according to Twitter’s third-quarter financial results.
Compounding the issues of its disappointing third-quarter financial results are advertisement product problems and social media industry headwinds, which are situations or conditions that make business growth harder.
“More work remains to deliver improved revenue products,” Ned Segal, Twitter’s CFO, acknowledged at the time in a statement obtained by Media Post.
Twitter did report a quarterly revenue of $824 million, which is 10 a percent increase year-over-year. Meanwhile, Twitter posted a 17 percent increase in monetizable daily active users; as of late July, the company had 139 million daily users, which is up 14 percent year-over-year.
For those who receive Twitter's deactivation warning email, you have until Dec. 11 to log in to your Twitter account. Under Twitter's rules, you don't actually have to post anything in order to retain your Twitter account, as logging in alone will demonstrate that the account is active, according to Twitter's instructions.