Over time, one of the frustrations for those trying to establish a solid Twitter presence has been the platform's follower limit. Traditionally, anyone on the platform has been allowed to follow up to 2,000 users. From that point on, Twitter restricts the amount of profiles you can follow to around 10% of your following - so if you're following 2,000 people but you have only 100 following you, you won't be able to increase the amount of profiles you follow till you hit around 200 followers (the actual metrics are not defined by Twitter, so it may be more than 10% in some cases).
The idea behind this restriction is that by limiting the number of accounts any one user can follow without gaining a following of their own, it stops spammers from setting up bot profiles and having them automatically follow millions of accounts - if they're forced to actually gain followers themselves, it makes the automation process more difficult.
But now Twitter's increasing that limit - from now on you can follow up to 5,000 profiles without having any followers of your own.
Starting today, we are increasing our current follow limit from 2,000 to 5,000 accounts for all users: https://t.co/Yxx66XESMf- Twitter Support (@Support) October 27, 2015
But wait, isn't that just playing into the hands of fake follower sellers? Kind of, but Twitter must be confident enough that their anti-spam detection processes will be able to limit the impact of fakes either way.
Some power users have been calling for an increase in the limit for years, as they've been forced to unfollow accounts in order to follow more. The most common usage of mass following, however, is doing so in order to gain followers back - it's a common Twitter marketing strategy to target profiles of people in your respective industry or niche, mass follow as you can, then, in turn, increase the potential amplification of your message by having those people follow back and, possibly, see your content. As such, increasing the limit seems somewhat counter-intuitive to boosting the utility of the platform more generally, as this type of activity is focused on broadcast, as opposed to discussion, but no doubt there are wider use cases for those who want to follow more people at once, in which case, this is an early Christmas gift.
Twitter also needs more people to use the platform. By increasing follow limits, maybe it'll also increase activity and get more users involved - by increasing the amount of profiles you can follow, you also increase the amount of content you can view.
Either way, the limit's been increased, news which will be welcomed by many in the Twitter community.