Let me address this straight away: I don't personally care for services which “help you better manage your Twitter followers,” because they tend to be used by those attempting to game the system to increase their perceived popularity in inorganic ways. That being said, I don't totally hate JustUnfollow's newly launched, completely redesigned mobile application. In fact, I might even actually start using this thing.
JustUnfollow, for those unfamiliar, is a longtime player in the business of Twitter friend management, having first gotten a somewhat inauspicious start here on TechCrunch, when founder Michael Arrington wrote that the app didn't work properly, leading to some internal office fighting. The company has made progress since then – fixing that bug, obviously – plus adding support for Instagram in January, and recently reaching some 4 million users – up from its 1 million user milestone in August of last year.
The JustUnfollow mobile apps for iOS and Android have been downloaded 1.7 million times since their launch last year, aiding in this growth. And the company has now passed 1 million Instagram users, too.
These mobile apps offer a variety of tools for managing your followers, some of which are free, others which you can “tweet to unlock” (I know, ugh), or you can just bite the bullet and buy a subscription. Two paid plans are available for individuals: $4.99/year for unlimited follows and unfollows, plus 10,000 whitelisted/blacklisted accounts, or $24.99/year for the same, up to 5 Twitter accounts. For businesses like social media agencies, pricing for an expanded feature set including customer support starts at $9.99 per month up to $199/month.
JustUnfollow reports a paid customer base of over 30,000, and while they're not yet talking revenue, founder Nischal Shetty notes that his bootstraped company now has a team of 8 full-time in Navi Mubai, India, where they're based.
Within the application, you can view who doesn't follow you back, your fans, those who have both followed and unfollowed you recently, inactive followers, your entire follower base, and more. You can also copy others' followers and check individual relationships for reciprocity (um, @ferenstein, wtf? Wait, @TechCrunch doesn't follow me? Jeez.) And you can whitelist and blacklist users, too, as noted above.
I'm have to admit, I'm not the target market for something like this, so it's a bit surprising I found it appealing. After all, I'm not super concerned with daily comings and going of my Twitter follower base. And I get that there are a lot of people, like me, who are overwhelmed with the headache that regularly following and unfollowing brings, to the point that they've sort of given up. In other words, I'm not going to hold a follow or unfollow against anyone personally, really, nor do I care to track this data every day. (If I did, I could just use the regular emails Twitter now sends, which include clickable buttons that let you follow back your new fans.)
But I would like to work on this kind of thing on my own time, in batches – going back through who I should be adding back, or cleaning out those accounts which have long ago abandoned Twitter – like old startups who have since moved on (…e.g., to Yahoo).
Likely, what sold me on the JustUnfollow app is not the feature set – these same tools are available all over the web, including with competitors like FriendorFollow, for example. What makes the app enjoyable is the features combined with the design. JustUnfollow feels modern, is attractive, and is simple to use and understand. Enough so that I might even start to think about managing my Twitter following/follower base for the first time in years.
JustUnfollow is available for iOS here and Android here. (I should point out that some users on iOS are reporting issues with the app crashing in the App Store reviews. I didn't experience this problem, so your mileage may vary, as they say.)