What happens when you give away money on Twitter?

You fix the algorithm, that’s what

Lately, it feels like Twitter’s algorithm is, let’s say: broken.

I’m not getting the impressions I used to. I’m not getting the likes I used to. I have an account with 600 followers getting as many impressions as another with 23,000.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Even Wait But Why author Tim Urban, who is so insightful Elon Musk once called him, is having problems.

I got so frustrated, one day, I said, “Fuck it. I’m just going to give away money.” So, I offered $100 to my followers.

In 24 hours, I got:

  • 57,000 impressions
  • 274 retweets
  • 280 new followers

Best of all, I got out of “Twitter jail,” at least for that day. Look at the difference in impressions for tweets I sent after this one, versus before, despite comparable engagement numbers.

I learned that Twitter’s algorithm isn’t irreparably broken, and I made someone’s day with a free $100.

If you want your tweets to do well, they have to be at least as interesting as a free $100.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Kadavy

Author, ‘Mind Management, Not Time Management’ https://amzn.to/3p5xpcV Former design & productivity advisor to Timeful (Google acq’d).