London: A romantic breakup could cost you 20 Twitter followers on average, according to a new study.
Researchers from Aalto University, Qatar Computing Research Institute and the University of Michigan found that a decrease in cross-messaging on social media can be indicative of an impending split and the event itself predicts a loss of followers. Researchers tracked Twitter users who were likely in a romantic relationship from November 4, 2013, till the end of April 2014 (24 weeks).
Some of the users deleted their accounts over the course of the study while some made them private, researchers said. “After the breakup, we were expecting partners to potentially unfollow each other but, apart from that, we were expecting ‘business as usual’ as far as the social network was concerned,” researchers said.
“However, when we tried to quantify our hypothesis that there should not be ripple effects affecting other connections, we found evidence for the opposite,” they said. The study found that a breakup caused a dip in followers (20 on average) on Twitter.
The loss of followers could be a reflection of the tendency for friends of a couple to take sides when the two part ways, according to ‘The Daily Dot’. Another possibility is that the marked increase in depressive tweets after a breakup – especially from the “rejectee” – drives the followers away.